Political leaders pay tribute to Prince Philip

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99. 

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99. - Credit: PRESS ASSOCIATION

Political leaders from across Cambridgeshire have paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99.

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday (April 9) that His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle.

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner said: “The Duke of Edinburgh has been a fixture in all of our lives for as long as we can remember and his passing is a sad day.

“He was sometimes a controversial figure but he was a colossal support to the Queen, and the country will rightly be in mourning.”

The MP for South Cambridgeshire, Anthony Browne, said: “I am very sorry to hear the sad news from Buckingham Palace of the passing of Prince Philip.

“His service to this nation and our Queen, who he stood by as the longest serving King Consort in history, are testament to his extraordinary character. Though his charitable works and visits, I know many in South Cambridgeshire and across the country will have been aided by his endeavours, which will never be forgotten.

“My thoughts remain with The Queen and the Royal Family at this time.”

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The leader of Cambridge City Council, Lewis Herbert, said Prince Philip “was a great friend to our city”.

He said: “I met him at the Guildhall to thank him for all he had done for the city, when he retired following decades of service as Chancellor of Cambridge University.

“We talked about the issues the city has faced, and its many achievements. He recognised what makes it a special city to live and work in.

“We’re proud to have had his support over the years, and we’re sending all our thoughts to the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family at this sad time.”

The leader of the opposition group on the city council, Tim Bick, also offered his condolences to the Royal Family, and paid tribute to the “authentic and independent” character of the Duke of Edinburgh, and said “Cambridge was fortunate to figure prominently in his associations”.

The leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, Bridget Smith, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh has achieved so much in a long lifetime of dedicated public service and his passing is a great loss to this country and the Commonwealth.

“My own son and thousands of other young people have benefited hugely from participating in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which has transformed many lives and is a fitting legacy for this committed and caring man.”

The mayor of Cambridge, councillor Russ McPherson, said: “The news of the death of Prince Philip is a matter of great sorrow for both the people of Cambridge and around the country.

“The city and Cambridge University have strong connections with His Royal Highness and the Royal Family, and we join people around the country, and the world, in remembering with affection his life and contribution to the nation.

“On behalf of the residents of Cambridge, I extend our city’s condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and all members of the Royal Family.”

Other civic leaders from across the county have also paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, and flags are being flown at half mast.

The chief constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Nick Dean, described Prince Philip as “an example of how to conduct your life in service of the public”.

The Queen’s representative in the county, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence, said: “I would like to convey to Her Majesty The Queen, the deep sympathy felt by the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough on hearing the sad news of the death of HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh.

“While the whole country mourns, this can be as nothing to the feelings of The Queen who has lost not just her husband of 73 years, but also her most steadfast support throughout the whole of her reign, as the longest serving British Consort. And of course, to his family who have lost a beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

She said Cambridgeshire will remember Prince Philip “with love and affection for the frequent visits he has made to this county” and “for the contribution he has made to so many people’s lives through initiatives such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award”.