Tributes from across West Berkshire and Hampshire to His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
TRIBUTES from across West Berkshire and North Hampshire have been paid to the Duke of Edinburgh, who has died at the age of 99.
The announcement of his death was made in a statement from Buckingham Palace on Friday. It read: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
"The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
Following the news, the chairman of West Berkshire Council, Graham Pask (Con, Bucklebury) said: "Today we send our sincere condolences to the Royal Family following the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was admired by a great many people for a lifetime of public service to this country. In West Berkshire, and across the country, we respected the steadfast dedication to his role and we join the Royal Family in mourning his passing today.
"Throughout his public service Prince Philip supported many good causes but will be remembered most for his Duke of Edinburgh Awards. I have had the pleasure of meeting young people who have taken part in the scheme and have seen for myself the positive impact on the lives of young people in West Berkshire. It's a great scheme and something which will continue to inspire future generations."
Flags on many public buildings across the country were flying at half mast on Friday, including above the council's Market Street offices, and will remain there for eight days until the funeral as a mark of respect.
The council requested residents not to lay flowers, in line with the Royal Household's wishes, but to consider instead donations to a charity of their choosing or one of the charities or organisations which The Duke of Edinburgh supported in his public duties.
Newbury Town Council members and officers also paid their own tribute, saying they were "deeply saddened at the news of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh".
The Mayor of Newbury, Elizabeth O’Keeffe, said: "Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Her Majesty and the Royal Family following the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
"Prince Philip supported many good causes, in particular his Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme which a great many young people in Newbury have both benefitted from and achieved”.
Highclere Castle's flag is also flying at half mast and the Earl of Carnarvon paid tribute to "a wonderful man".
He said: "Prince Philip was a wonderful man, great character and made an amazing contribution to his country and the Commonwealth over so many years.
"It was a privilege to know him and be a part of days out with him here at Highclere, Windsor, Balmoral and Sandringham. Whether on a wild part of the Highlands or in Windsor Park he was an outstanding countryman, conservationist and example to us all in farming practise and looking after endangered wildlife around the world.
"Prince Philip had an incisive mind with a fun sense of humour, always kind and wanting to make people feel involved and comfortable around him.
"We salute his passing and send all messages of condolence to HM the Queen and her family."
Prince Philip's funeral will take place in Windsor on Saturday (April 17) and as a mark of respect, the second day of the Dubai Duty Free Spring Trials meeting at Newbury Racecourse will now be held on Sunday (April 18).
Clerk of the course for Newbury, Keith Ottesen, said: “It’s entirely appropriate that the meeting has been postponed to Sunday as a mark of respect for the funeral of His Royal Highness Prince Philip.
“This is a meeting which has frequently been attended by Her Majesty The Queen for a number of years as we welcome back the flat season to Newbury and we are looking forward to seeing some potential superstars in action.”
Thames Valley Police (TVP) chief constable John Campbell said: "The Duke of Edinburgh is the longest serving British consort and Thames Valley Police has had the privilege to protect and serve both the Duke of Edinburgh and Her Majesty The Queen while in residence at Windsor Castle.
“We have a long and proud association with the Royal family and have had the privilege to police a number of Royal events from the annual Windsor Garter Ceremony to state visits to Her Majesty’s 90th birthday and more recently the royal weddings.
“On behalf of the whole of Thames Valley Police, I offer our deepest condolences to The Queen, to all of the Royal Family and members of the Royal Household.”
The Ceremonial Royal Funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle and in line with the Royal Household’s wishes and Government advice, Thames Valley Police is asking the public not to gather at royal residences, such as Windsor Castle, at this time and to continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and minimising travel.
The funeral will take place today, Saturday, April 17, at 3pm, when a minute's silence will be held nationwide in memory of the duke. The service will be televised.
Members of the public wishing to express their condolences can also send a message to the Royal Family at www.royal.uk/books-condolence
More information on the charities Prince Philip supported is also available online at: www.royal.uk/donations