'Grandfather of the nation' - tributes paid to Prince Philip as leaders prepare to pay condolences
Leaders from the four corners of the UK are set to pay tribute to Prince Philip on Monday 12 April, as the royal family mourns the loss of “the grandfather of the nation”.
Politicians across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will offer their respects to the late Duke of Edinburgh.
MPs will return to the House of Commons a day early from their Easter break to voice their condolences.
The Welsh and Scottish Parliaments are being recalled, while the Northern Ireland assembly will also see members pay tribute.
‘He shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people’
When news of Prince Philip’s death was released, political leaders from around the UK, and the world, paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away at age 99.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.
“With his Duke of Edinburgh Award 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.”
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she was “saddened” by the news of Prince Philip’s passing, 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”.
‘With sadness that we mourn his death’
In a statement, Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
“Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.
“We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.
“He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service.”
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill issued a joint statement.
Foster said: “I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. It is a sadness that I know will be shared by countless others in Northern Ireland and right across the world.”
O’Neill added: “I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family on the death of her husband Prince Phillip.”
‘Parliament recalled to show our respects’
Holyrood’s presiding officer, Ken Macintosh, announced on Friday that MSPs would be able to return to parliament to pay tribute to Prince Philip with a motion of condolence from 11am on Monday.
He said: “I have this afternoon decided that the Parliament should be recalled to show our respect to the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s sad announcement.
“His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, lived a life dedicated to duty and public service and his support for this institution was clear.
“This is why I have taken the decision to recall in order that we may take the time to pause, remember and pay tribute to his work.”
The meeting will start with a minute’s silence before considering a Motion of Condolence with a statement from party leaders.
‘A pause just to remember him’
Holyrood’s first presiding officer, Lord Steel, told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Monday: “He was never a fan of modern architecture like Prince Charles, we can joke about that, but, yes, he was a great supporter of our parliament.
“I think [recalling parliament] is quite right and I think everybody wanted to be able to say goodbye to him in a proper way.
“The fact that we have a whole week of public mourning, I think, is testimony to his effectiveness as he was described yesterday by his son as grandfather of the nation - I think that’s how he’ll be remembered.”
The political parties in Scotland had earlier suspended campaigning for the May election following Prince Philip’s death.
Lord Steel said: “You can’t indefinitely hold off the election but I think he’s right that we have a pause just to remember him.”
A notice announcing the death of the Duke of Edinburgh was briefly posted on the gates of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Edinburgh, on Friday afternoon.
Flags were lowered to half mast there, as well as at the Scottish parliament, Scottish Government and local authority buildings
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site National World