World Leaders Honor Prince Philip's Legacy: He 'Embodied a Generation We Will Never See Again'
After news of Prince Philip's death at age 99, world leaders and public figures from around the globe joined in honoring the Duke of Edinburgh's memory on Friday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson mourned Philip (who retired from his public duties in August 2017) in a statement, remarking that he "earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world."
"Like the expert carriage driver that he was he helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life. He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable," Johnson said.
"We remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen," the prime minister added. "Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her 'strength and stay,' of more than 70 years. And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation's thoughts must turn today."
Johnson says the royal family has "lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather."
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also issued a statement remembering Philip and his "extraordinary life of dedicated service" — also noting that he "continually demonstrated his unfailing support and unstinting loyalty to Her Majesty The Queen."
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"On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special," said Welby.
"I also join many people in giving thanks for the marriage of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, and for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Theirs was a marriage grounded in friendship and mutual respect and sustained by shared faith in Christ," he added. "I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time. May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory."
Prince Philip is survived by his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth, their daughter Princess Anne and their three sons: next-in-line-to-the-throne Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry and nine great-grandchildren, including Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie and Princess Eugenie's new baby boy, August, whose middle name is Philip.
Outside of the U.K., more public figures spoke out to honor Philip's legacy. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Philip "embodied a generation we will never see again." Additionally, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said Philip had been 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."
Simon Coveney, Ireland's minister for foreign affairs, tweeted, "I want to express sincere condolences to all British people on the sad passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and solidarity are with you on a very sad day for the United Kingdom."
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said, "Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by people across the country." She added that "Prince Philip's long contribution to public life in Scotland will leave a profound mark on its people."
Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, tweeted, "My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace."
The royal family of the Netherlands also paid their respects with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix saying in a Friday release: "We remember HRH Prince Philip with great respect. He dedicated his long life to the service of the British people and to his many duties and responsibilities. His lively personality made an indelible impression. Our loving feelings of compassion go out to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and all members of the Royal Family. "
In a heartfelt statement shared to Instagram from King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, the royal pair captioned a photo of themselves with Phillip and his wife.
"Deeeply saddened by the passing away of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We wish to express our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, the British Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom," the post began.
"We will always cherish the memories of our warm encounters. Philippe and Mathilde," it concluded.
In a statement from King Harald of Norway, he noted that they will honor Philip by raising their country flag at half-mast "from the Palace Balcony today and on the day of the funeral."
"The royal family has received with great sorrow the message that His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has passed away. Our thoughts go to Queen Elizabeth and the immediate family at the passing of Prince Philips. Our condolences also go to the British people," the statement read.
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