LONDON (AP) – Military teams across the UK and on ships at sea fired 41-cannon salutes on Saturday to mark the death of Prince Philips and honor the former naval officer and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, whom they regarded as one of their own.
Batteries in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast – the capitals of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom – as well as other cities around the United Kingdom and the Mediterranean outpost Gibraltar fired salvos at one-minute intervals starting at noon. Ships including HMS Montrose, a frigate patrolling the Persian Gulf, offered their own greetings.
Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, died on Friday at Windsor Castle, two months before his 1
“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during World War II, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole,” said General Nick Carter, Chief of Defense Staff, in a statement. “A well-lived life. His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness, and an unshakable sense of duty. ”
Members of the Commonwealth, a group of 54 countries led by the monarch, were also invited to honor Philip. The Australian Armed Forces began its greeting at. 17 local time outside Parliament in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to offer its own tribute on Sunday.
Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and once had a promising military career. In 1941, he was honored for his service during the Battle of Cape Matapan off the coast of Greece, when his control of searchlights aboard the HMS Valiant allowed the battleship to find enemy ships in the dark. Philip rose to the rank of commander before retiring from active duty.
Two years after the war ended, Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey when she was 21, and he was 26. Philip’s marine career ended abruptly when King George VI died in 1952 and his wife became queen.
At the Queen’s coronation in 1953, Philip swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and settled in a life that supports the monarch. The couple had four children – Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Before retiring from official duties in 2017, the prince carried out more than 22,000 public engagements and supported over 780 organizations, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Young People Award.
Public members continued to honor Philip’s service life on Saturday, leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle despite appeals from authorities and the royal family to refrain from collecting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think everyone wants to respect them,” said Maureen Field, 67, outside Windsor Castle. “Because of the virus, many people have to stay away. He did not want a big funeral. He wanted a very private time with his family to say goodbye. So we must all respect that. ”
Mike, 50, traveled from his home in Surrey, south-west London, to Buckingham Palace to honor the prince.
“He is a massive loss for the country and for the world, I think, so we wanted to come and show respect,” Williams said. “I do not know what it achieves, but it just felt like the right thing to do.”
Associated Press Writer James Brooks and Tom Rayner contributed.
For the AP’s full coverage of Prince Philips’ death, go to https://apnews.com/hub/prince-philip