The Lord-Lieutenant of Devon has led the county’s tributes to Prince Philip, the Duke Edinburgh, who died on Friday morning, April 9, aged 99.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, Simon Fursdon, said the county had ‘been important’ to the Duke, and to Her Majesty the Queen, throughout their lives.
Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip died ‘peacefully’ at Windsor Castle on Friday morning (April 9).
The statement from the palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The 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 join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Devon was where Prince Philip, as young naval officer training at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, first met Princess Elizabeth.
The Lord-Lieutenant said Prince Phillip had been a regular visitor to Lympstone, in East Devon, Plymouth and nearby Bickleigh until he retired from public duties in 2017.
Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Devon, Simon Fursdon said: “It is with very great sadness that we have heard of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“It was in Devon as a young naval officer, training at Britannia Royal Naval College, that Prince Philip met and later married Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Not surprisingly therefore the County has been important to them both throughout their lives and since and they have visited us here many times.
“Prince Philip held many senior ranks and positions in his long life which included being the Lord High Steward of Plymouth, a post that he held from March 1960.
“He was also awarded an honorary degree from the University of Plymouth in 2012.
“Plymouth and nearby Bickleigh and Lympstone near Exeter, were regular destinations for him in the County until he retired from public duties in 2017.
“This is because His Royal Highness was the Captain General of the Royal Marines, a post he held for 64 years and in which capacity he visited many times, both publicly and in private.
“The Duke was also Colonel-in-Chief of successive Regiments that have made up The Rifles since 1953.
“Prince Philip was also the Patron and President of many of our county charities and they will all be very sad to hear of the news of his death.
“He had a particular interest in conservation of the environment, in scientific and technological research and in the encouragement of sport.
“He is perhaps best known however for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which he founded 64 years ago and which has become the world’s leading youth achievement award and is now in 140 countries around the world.
“He was a great man who contributed hugely to our Country and our County; a constant and loyal support to her Majesty and he did all this while demonstrating a genuine interest in people and with a wonderful sense of humour which was so often on display.
“We give thanks for a wonderful life. May he rest in peace.”
The Chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr Stuart Barker, in paying tribute, spoke of the county’s ‘sadness’ on learning of The Duke’s death.
He said: “It is with great sadness that we hear of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“On behalf of the people of the County of Devon, I convey that sadness and send our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family.
“Prince Philip visited Devon on many occasions, and we especially remember the visit with Her Majesty the Queen as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour.
“The Duke was much loved in Devon and admired across the country and the wider Commonwealth in the course of his public duties.
“His contribution and dedication in the service of the country, and his unwavering support to Her Majesty was, and will continue to be, an example to us all. ”
East Devon MP Simon Jupp’s tribute touched on Prince Philip’s life-long duty to The Queen.
He Tweeted: “Sending my deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal family on this sad day.
His Royal Highness The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, gave a lifetime of service to Queen and country.”
Sending my deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family on this sad day. His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, gave a lifetime of service to Queen and country. https://t.co/GKMDx8rvp0
— Simon Jupp MP (@simonjamesjupp) April 9, 2021
In Exeter, flags on the Guildhall, Cathedral and council buildings have been lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect for Prince Philip.
Northernhay Gardens, in the city, has been chosen as a place where people can leave floral tributes.
And an online book of condolences has been set up by Exeter City Council for those wishing to leave a message, and pay their respects to The Duke.
Phil Bialyk, leader of Exeter City Council, said: “Today is an extremely sad day as we mourn the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. “
Exeter Lord Mayor, Councillor Peter Holland, said: “On behalf of the City of Exeter, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and to the Royal Family, after the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh”.
An Exeter City Council spokesperson said: “Exeter is joining with the rest of the country and the commonwealth to mourn the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the comfort of their homes.
With his capacity for hard work and absolute dedication to duty widely acknowledged, His Royal Highness has been welcomed in Exeter on numerous occasions.
As a mark of respect, the flags at the historic Guildhall, other council facilities, and at the Cathedral will be flown at half-mast.”
For more East Devon news, see here.