A 41-gun salute in Canberra today will mark the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, aged 99 at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday.
In a media statement this morning, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “The Duke’s life was one of duty and of service, of loyalty and of honour. Memories of him will of course tell stories of his candour, and a unique and forceful and authentic personality. But above all, he was a man who was steadfast, who could be relied upon, always standing by his Queen.
“In Australia, we also know of that steadfast commitment and loyalty of the Duke of Edinburgh. Patron of some 50 organisations here in Australia, a legacy of 775,000 Australians who were award recipients under the Duke of Edinburgh Award program.
“As the Governor-General reminded us last night, he visited our country on more than 20 occasions. On board the HMS Ramillies in 1940 as a midshipman; In that crowning tour when he had joined the new Queen, in great ceremony and great excitement here in Australia; But there were also moments of deep compassion, in particular in the terrible bushfires of 1967 in Tasmania, where he comforted the victims and he toured the burnt out Cascade Brewery.
“There are many towering figures that the world has lost and known but few have been before us in our lifetimes for such a long time. His presence and service a reassurance, a reminder of the stability we so often need in a world that can be so uncertain.
“With his passing, we say farewell to another of the greatest generation. The generation that defied tyranny, that won a peace, and built a liberal world order that protects and favours freedom. An order that indeed Australia still shelters under for our own peace and prosperity and stability to this day.”
Mr Morrison will sign an official condolence book today and attend a church service for the Duke at St Andrew’s in Sydney tomorrow.
He said the Royal Family has requested that people from around the world, should they like to do more in paying their respects, donate to one of the Prince’s many charities and patron organisations. There is a link on the pmc.gov.au website to the Palace site which includes “the list of the many different organisations that span a great life of service”.
Australians can also register their official condolences online at pmc.gov.au or contact their local Member of Parliament for details of how to register their condolences in hard copy.
Prince Philip most recently visited Canberra with Queen Elizabeth II in October 2011.
The Royal couple were married for 73 years. They have four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Prince Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on 10 June 1921 in Greece.
Have you ever met Prince Philip in Australia or overseas? If so, please share your experience in the comments below or email [email protected] with details.
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