Current and former presidents, prime ministers, heads of government and monarchs across the globe have paid heartfelt tributes to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth who died yesterday at the age of 99.
The royal family which announced the death yesterday in a statement posted on its website said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family joins with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
President Muhammadu Buhari in his message to the British Royal family described late Philip as a “great man” and “a remarkable husband who had been happily married to the Queen since 1947.”
“The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is the end of an era. Prince Philip was one of the greatest and publicly recognisable international figures whose contributions to the Commonwealth will be remembered for generations to come.
“Prince Philip was a great man in his own right who made enormous contributions to philanthropic activities and charities especially for wildlife conservation and youth development programmes in more than 130 countries,” Buhari said in a statement by his spokesman, Mr. Garba Shehu.
The president also commiserated with the Government of the United Kingdom, the members of the Commonwealth “for the sad loss of this royal and indeed global icon.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed Philip’s “extraordinary life and work”, sending his condolences to Queen Elizabeth after he husband’s death was announced.
Johnson said the Duke of Edinburgh “earned the affection of generations” at home, in the Commonwealth and across the world.
“We give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” he added.
Former prime minister Tony Blair hailed Philip’s public service, calling him “a man of foresight, determination and courage”.
“He was often way ahead of his time in protection of the environment, in reconciliation between religious faiths,” he said, hailing his environmental work.
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he was “saddened” by Philip’s death, adding: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison ordered flags to be flown at half-mast in his country after the passing of Philip, who he said “embodied a generation that we will never see again”.
“The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia,” said the leader of the Commonwealth nation.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed “deep sadness” over the passing of Prince Philip, saying he will be “fondly remembered as a constant in the life of our Queen”.
“Prince Philip was a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others,” Trudeau said on behalf of this Commonwealth nation, adding that “the Duke always sought out the best in people and challenged them to strive for greater heights.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute on Friday to Prince Philip who visited the former British colony four times, not always helping to mend ties.
Modi praised his “distinguished” military career.
“My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” said the prime minister of the Commonwealth’s biggest nation on Twitter.
“He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace.”
Prince Philip was a nephew of Louis Mountbatten, the last British viceroy of India.
Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Philip a loyal servant to the United Kingdom who “lived a long life of service to his country”.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Royal family, the people of the Commonwealth, and all who loved him dearly,” Maas tweeted.
EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter she was “saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip”.
“I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on this very sad day.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his “deepest condolences” the the Royal family.
“Prince Phillip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world,” he wrote.
Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela said he was “truly saddened by the loss of Prince Philip, who made Malta his home and returned here so often”.
“Our people will always treasure his memory. Our sincerest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and to the @RoyalFamily,” he said on Twitter.
Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf said he was “deeply saddened” to learn of Philip’s death, calling him “a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued”.
“His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all,” he said in a statement.
Former US president George W. Bush said Philip had represented his country “with dignity”, honouring his “remarkable life”.
“He devoted himself to worthy causes and to others,” Bush said in a statement.
“He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign.”
The head of UNESCO tweeted her “sincere condolences” to the royal family and the United Kingdom after Philip’s death.
“His Royal Highness Philip was a pillar of English modern history and a strong advocate of Planet action through the Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award. He will be missed,” Audrey Azoulay said on Twitter.
Spain’s king and queen telegrammed “Dear Aunt Lilibet” to mourn the passing of “Dear Uncle Philip”.
The telegram from King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain was particularly poignant, sending “all our love and affection” to Aunt Lilibet (the affectionate name used by the duke for his wife) and Dear Uncle Philip.
“We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him and the legacy of service and dedication to the Crown and the United Kingdom by your side,” they told the Queen.
While the cause of Philip’s death is not yet known, it comes soon after the longest hospital stay of his life.
He was admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital in central London on February 16 after feeling unwell, and later had a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital, St Bartholomew’s.
After being discharged on March 16, the duke returned to Windsor Castle and was said to have been in “good spirits.”
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said he was discharged “following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition”.
Philip spent 65 years supporting the queen, retiring from his public role in 2017 and staying largely out of the view since.
In his active years, he helped set a new course for the monarchy, championing Britain itself, as well as environmental causes, science and technology.
Philip’s relationship with Princess Elizabeth began as a story of young love.
“We behave as though we had belonged to each other for years,” Elizabeth wrote in a letter to her parents shortly after they married.
Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He joked he could no longer stand up when he stepped down from royal engagements in May 2017.
His final official public appearance was made later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.