Gun salutes fired across UK to mark Prince Philip’s death
Published: 08:18 PM, 10 April 2021 Updated: 08:20 PM, 10 April 2021
Gun salutes echoed around the United Kingdom on Saturday as the military paid solemn tribute to Prince Philip; Photo: AFP
Gun salutes echoed around the United Kingdom (UK) on Saturday as the military paid solemn tribute to Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip after his death aged 99.
Coordinated 41-round salutes to the former Royal Navy commander were fired at one round per minute from 12:00 (1100 GMT) in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as at naval bases, from ships at sea, and in the British territory Gibraltar. – reports AFP.
The number of shots fired — the longest salute used according to military protocol — has been fired in the past to mark the deaths of queen Victoria and wartime prime minister Winston Churchill.
The salutes were broadcasted online and on TV, and the public are encouraged to observe them from home.
Similar salutes were also held in Canberra and Wellington, as the queen is head of state in Australia and New Zealand.
In Australia, a 41-gun salute was fired to mark Prince Philip's death outside Parliament House in Canberra. The New Zealand Army will pay tribute in the same way at Point Jerningham in Wellington on Sunday.
Sporting events, including Premier League football matches and at English county championship cricket, held moments of silence as part of worldwide tributes to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, during a period of national mourning.
The death of the duke, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, on Friday is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described her husband of 73 years as her “strength and stay” throughout her long reign.
Meanwhile, flags are flying at half-mast on government buildings and will do so until the morning after his funeral, the date of which has yet to be announced.
A two-minute silence will be held ahead of Saturday’s Grand National, the country’s showpiece horse race.
The well-rehearsed protocol for the duke’s death — codenamed “Forth Bridge” — includes the recall of parliament on Monday.
British television stations cleared their schedules for special broadcasts looking back on his life, although the BBC said it had received complaints about the blanket coverage.
Westminster Abbey, where the couple married in 1947, tolled its tenor bell 99 times on Friday, once for each year of the prince’s life.
Political campaigning for May local elections stopped, and loyalist leaders in Northern Ireland, who have been rioting for days amid heightening political tensions in the British province, urged a pause in violence on Friday.
The call — “as a mark of respect to the Queen” — was largely heeded.
Announcing the duke's death on Friday, Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband.”
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The funeral will take place at St George's Chapel, Windsor, but the arrangements have been amended in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the College of Arms said in a statement.
The duke will not have a state funeral and there will be no lying-in-state, in line with his wishes, it added.
Members of the public are “regretfully” requested not to attend due to the pandemic, and it is understood the Queen is considering modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements.