Gunfire across the UK, into Commonwealth countries and at sea marks the death of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II and a former naval officer, on Saturday.
Gun batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and other cities were torched 41 rounds within one minute of each other from noon. The Australian Defense Force offered its salute at 5 p.m. local time outside Parliament in Canberra, and New Zealand is scheduled to give an artillery tribute on Sunday.
“His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unwavering sense of duty,” said General Nick Carter, British Chief of the Defense Staff. . “
Also known as The Duke of Edinburgh, Philip served in the Royal Navy during World War II and had a promising military career. He joined the Royal Navy as an Officer Cadet in 1939 and won wartime mentions for his service aboard the battleship HMS Valiant at Cape Matapan on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula. He reached the rank of commander before retiring from active service.
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Two years after the war ended, Philip married the future Queen at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. Her naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and Elizabeth became Queen.
At the Queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip vowed to be his wife’s “man of life and body” and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children – Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Members of the public left flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle on Saturday, ignoring calls from authorities and the Royal Family to refrain from assembling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Oh, I think everyone is in shock,” said Maureen Field, a 67-year-old Staines resident. “I think everyone would like to pay tribute. Because of the virus, many people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted to spend a very private time with his family to say goodbye to him. So we all have to respect that. “
Philip and the Queen were married for 73 years. The royal family confirmed his death on Friday in a statement.
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“It is with deep sadness that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Her Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle, ”the statement read.
During the coronavirus lockdown in England, he was staying at Windsor Castle, west London, with the reigning 94-year-old monarch.
On February 16, Philip was admitted to a London hospital after feeling unwell. On March 3, he underwent surgery for pre-existing heart disease at Saint-Barthélemy Hospital before being transferred to King Edward VII Hospital on March 5 and finally released home on March 16.
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He is the oldest royal husband in British history. He and the Queen have four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.