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09 April 2021

Religious and political leaders pay tribute to ‘much-loved’ Philip

09 April 2021

Tributes have been paid by political and religious leaders to the “much-loved” Duke of Edinburgh after his death at the age of 99.

Speaking on a podium outside Downing Street on Friday, Boris Johnson said Philip would be remembered for his “steadfast support” of the Queen, as well as his awards scheme which “inspired” countless young people.

The Prime Minister said: “He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

“With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.”

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the duke “embodied a generation that we will never see again”.

“Australians send our love and deepest condolences to her Majesty and all the Royal family. The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia,” he tweeted.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said Philip was an “outstanding example of Christian service”.

In a statement, he said: “On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life.

“He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special.

“The legacy he leaves is enormous.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK has “lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip”.

He said: “He will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.”

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, highlighted the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as “an enormous part of Prince Philip’s legacy”.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she was “saddened” by the news and sent her “personal and deepest condolences, and those of the Scottish government and people of Scotland, to Her Majesty the Queen and her family”.

Irish premier Micheal Martin tweeted: “Saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time.”

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted that his thoughts were with the royal family.

He said: “(Philip) had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace.”

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen tweeted: “I am saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on this very sad day.”

Former prime minister Tony Blair said: “He will naturally be most recognised as a remarkable and steadfast support to the Queen over so many years. However, he should also be remembered and celebrated in his own right as a man of foresight, determination and courage.

“He was often way ahead of his time in protection of the environment, in reconciliation between religious faiths and of course in the creation of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which remains one of the most innovative and effective programmes for the betterment of young people anywhere in the world.”

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