Today I join the whole of the United Kingdom and indeed the Commonwealth to mourn the passing of an extraordinary man, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Philip’s life was one marked by seven decades of total devotion to this country, and to his much-loved family. Serving in the second world war, supporting HM The Queen as her ever-loyal consort, and inspiring thousands of young people to take part in the life-changing experiences of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Prince Philip’s is a legacy etched into the fabric of our society. He was a man of great determination and resolve to whom this nation, and the many great causes and charities he has championed over the years from conservation to technological innovation, owe a great debt.
I will always remember with great pleasure meeting the Duke at a Royal Maundy service some years ago and seeing what a strong team he made with HM the Queen. Therefore, at this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with HM The Queen, and the rest of the royal family as they grieve a much-loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather.