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Queen has been ‘amazing’, says Countess of Wessex

Gun salutes marking the death of the Duke of Edinburgh were fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea on Saturday.

Saluting batteries fired 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Gibraltar and from Royal Navy warships.

Gun salutes have been fired to mark significant national events, including the Queen’s Coronation and the deaths of Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill, since as early as at least the 18th century.

The public was encouraged to observe the gun salutes from home.

Prince Philip died peacefully in his sleep on Friday morning at Windsor Castle. He would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June.

His children paid tribute to him as the “rock” in the Queen and their family’s lives.

The Duke of Edinburgh is expected to be given a ceremonial royal funeral rather than a state one and will not lie in state.

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Footballers observe two-minute silence

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 15:04

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Funeral could help royals heal broken relationships, says cardinal

Coming together for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral could help heal any tensions between the royal family and the Duke of Sussex, a religious leader has said.

Harry is likely to return to the UK for the first time since stepping down as a senior royal just over a year ago to attend his grandfather’s funeral.

It is not known if he will be joined by Meghan, who is pregnant.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said gathering for Philip’s funeral could allow the family to have “a comparative bit of privacy” together.

He told Times Radio: “I think there might be a bit of consolation in it for the royal family actually because it just gives them a chance to be close and to have a comparative bit of privacy.

“Obviously the whole ceremony will be watched by everybody but you think of the complexities of the dynamics in that family and we have to think of Harry, so far away. I’m sure he’ll come but not being, the whole time, in the public eye might just help.

“Many a family gather and get over tension and broken relationships at the time of a funeral. Something very profound unites them all again. And that would be true for this family, I’m sure.”

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 15:01

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Prince Philip was more than just a grumpy old man – he was a royal moderniser

The Duke of Edinburgh was a moderniser, a patriarch of a dynasty that has lasted, almost interrupted, for a thousand years. He understood that the House of Windsor had only lasted for as long as it had by retaining public support, and that meant adapting and evolving in line with what the public wants, to changes in society, and by exploiting the new technologies of whatever time it found itself in.

Prince Philip sought to reform the monarchy, for its own good, to make himself and the institution “useful”, Sean O’Grady, our associate editor, says.

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 14:43

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Billboard adverts replaced with tributes to Prince Philip

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A billboard with an image of the Duke of Edinburgh alongside the Clydeside Expressway in Glasgow, Scotland

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A billboard with an image of the Duke of Edinburgh alongside the Clydeside Expressway in Glasgow, Scotland

(AFP/Getty)

Billboard firms around the country have replaced adverts with tributes to Prince Philip following his death.

Twitter users have been sharing those spotted in their local areas.

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A screen at Clapham Junction railway station pays tribute to Prince Philip

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A screen at Clapham Junction railway station pays tribute to Prince Philip

(Tom Ambrose)

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 14:36

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‘Queen has been amazing’, says Countess of Wessex as family visit monarch

Prince Andrew and Prince Edward visited the Queen at Windsor Castle today following the death of her husband and their father, Prince Philip.

Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spent about an hour at the castle. The tearful countess told reporters “the queen has been amazing” as the couple left Windsor in a Land Rover.

Andrew briefly waved at the crowd of mourners as he left. Prince Charles, the queen’s eldest child and heir to the throne, visited his mother yesterday.

Our reporter Adam Forrest has more on this:

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 14:15

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South Korean president expresses ‘heartfelt thoughts’

Moon Jae-in, the president of South Korea, has said his country will “forever remember” the contribution Philip made to friendly ties between South Korea and the UK when he visited with the Queen in 1999.

“I offer my condolences and share the grief with the bereaved family and the people of the United Kingdom,” he wrote on Twitter.

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 14:06

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BBC and ITV viewing figures plummet amid wall-to-wall royal coverage

Viewing figures for the BBC and ITV collapsed after the channels pulled regularly scheduled programming for wall-to-wall coverage of Prince Philip’s death.

The earliest available overnight ratings saw ITV’s Friday night audience decline by 60 per cent by comparison with one week previously. BBC One suffered a similar, if less dramatic, loss of average viewers.

In the wake of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, the BBC pulled the entirety of its programming on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four.

Culture reporter Adam White has the full story:

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 13:52

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Pope offers ‘blessings of consolation and peace’

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The Duke of Edinburgh shakes hands with Pope Francis as Queen Elizabeth arrives for a meeting at the Vatican in 2014

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The Duke of Edinburgh shakes hands with Pope Francis as Queen Elizabeth arrives for a meeting at the Vatican in 2014

(PA)

The Pope has offered “blessings of consolation and peace” to those grieving for Prince Philip.

A telegram sent to the Queen in Pope Francis’s name said: “Recalling Prince Philip’s devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service and his commitment to the education and advancement of future generations, His Holiness commends him to the merciful love of Christ our Redeemer.

“Upon you and upon all who grieve his loss in the sure hope of the resurrection, the Holy Father invokes the Lord’s blessings of consolation and peace.”

Emily Goddard10 April 2021 13:49

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‘The Queen has been amazing’

The Countess of Wessex said “the Queen has been amazing” as she left Windsor Castle

Sophie spoke to reporters after visiting Elizabeth II with her husband, the Earl of Wessex, for around an hour.

Prince Andrew and Prince Edward also visited Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle this morning.

Andrew waved to the public as he drove his green Range Rover down a street packed with crowds.

Prince Charles, the queen’s oldest child and heir to the throne, visited his mother on Friday.

In a tribute program aired by the BBC on Friday. all four of Philip’s children remembered him as someone who had encouraged and supported them.

Charles described his father’s life as an “astonishing achievement” while Edward said his father had a tough job that was carried out with the most “extraordinary flare.”

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Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, leave Windsor Castle

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Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, leave Windsor Castle

(AP)

Peter Stubley10 April 2021 13:29

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A Labour MSP has broken with a cross-party agreement to put politics on hold during the period of mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh by calling for a debate on Nicola Sturgeon’s handling of coronavirus to be tacked on to tributes at Holyrood on Monday.

The Scottish Parliament has been recalled for one day next week to allow MSPs to make statements on Prince Philip’s death, before going back into recess until after the 6 May elections.

But Neil Findlay said that Monday’s recall offered the only opportunity before the election to hold the SNP-led government to account for an admission by health secretary Jeane Freeman that mistakes were made in releasing patients potentially infected with Covid-19 into care homes.

Peter Stubley10 April 2021 13:20

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