Entertainment Celebrity Royal PM sends Australia’s ‘deepest sympathies’ to Queen after the death of Prince Philip

PM sends Australia’s ‘deepest sympathies’ to Queen after the death of Prince Philip

prince philip
ADF servicepeople representing the Army, Navy and Air Force pay Australia's respects in billowing clouds or artillery smoke. Photo: ABC
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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has paid tribute to Prince Philip’s life of “duty and of service” and extended the sympathies of Australia to Queen Elizabeth.

“On behalf of the Australian people, and the Australian government, I extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Her Majesty and the royal family to the passing of the Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh,” the Prime Minister said.

“The duke’s life was one of the duty and of service, of loyalty and honour. Memories of him will of course tell stories of his candour, and a unique and forceful and authentic personality. But above all, he was a man who was steadfast, who could be relied upon, always standing by his Queen.”

Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband for more than 70 years, died on Friday at Windsor Castle just outside London.

Flags across Australia are flying at half-mast and a 41-gun boomed out from the grounds of Parliament House. salute outside Parliament House.

Mr Morrison has signed the Governor-General’s official condolence book and plans to attend a service at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney tomorrow.

In the book he wrote: “Jenny and I pray that you will draw great peace and comfort from your deep faith at this time of sorrow … The duke was a steadfast man, a man of honour, service, duty and loyalty. We give thanks for his life of service.”

“Your Majesty, our nation extends to you and your family, as part of your Commonwealth family, our deepest condolences on the passing of your ‘strength and stay’, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, your Prince Philip.”

“Let your Commonwealth now be your strength and stay. God save the Queen.”

Leading the tributes, Mr Morrison said the prince’s life could be summed up as one of duty, service and “steadfast loyalty”.

“There are many towering figures that the world has lost and known, but few have been before us in our lifetimes for such a long time,” he said.

“His presence and service a reassurance, a reminder of the stability we so often need to a world that can be so uncertain.

“With his passing, we say farewell to another of the greatest generation.”

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during a visit to Australia in 2002. Photo: AFP

In his message to the Queen, the Prime Minister said the Commonwealth would “be your strength”.

“She has been there for us over such a long time. Let us be there now for you, your Majesty, and allow us to send our love to you on this, I am sure, one of your most sad of days,” Mr Morrison said.

Prince Philip made more than 20 visits to Australia — more than any other royal — first as a British Naval officer during World War II and perhaps most notably in 1956 when he opened the Melbourne Olympic Games.

As the patron of more than 50 organisations, he maintained a strong connection with Australia and his legacy will live on through the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Mr Morrison said he would outline further details about how Australia will honour Prince Philip in coming days but in the meantime, Australians can express their condolences via the website pmc.gov.au.

Former Australian prime ministers pay tribute

Malcolm Turnbull said Prince Philip was “always charming to this republican”.

“Never more so than at Malta 2015 when he relived his young life with his young wife not yet a Queen. He spoke of love, adventure, eyes sparkling, he banished time. And we could see how he won Elizabeth’s heart,” Mr Turnbull said.

Julia Gillard said she had fond memories of spending time with Prince Philip during a visit to Perth.

Tony Abbott, who gave Prince Philip an Australian knighthood, said “the world seems a little emptier tonight” after the duke’s passing.

“He’s lived a long life of duty and service — to the whole Commonwealth but above all to his Queen. Even as we mourn his passing, we should be uplifted by his example,” Mr Abbott said.

“He combined great character with being a dutiful royal and demonstrated over eight decades that there is no better life than one lived in service to others.”

Kevin Rudd said it was clear from his conversations with the duke that “Prince Philip had a deep and abiding affection for Australia.”

“It matters not whether Australians are republicans or monarchists, Prince Philip’s passing is a very sad day for the royal family who, like all families, will be grieving deeply the loss of a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather,” Mr Rudd said.

John Howard reflected on his memories of Prince Philip, saying he had a great combination of tradition and informality.

Mr Howard met Prince Philip both in Australia and also in London, and spoke about his “good knowledge” of Australian politics.

Like other former leaders, Mr Howard also spoke about Prince Philip’s humour

“His mannerisms and his demeanor went down well in Australia,” he said.

“He was a great combination of dignity, tradition, and informality and it’s quite a tricky balance.”

As the Queen’s representative in Australia, Governor-General David Hurley announced Prince Philip’s death in a video message on Friday night, calling it a “sad and historic day”.

He described Prince Philip as a “popular, engaged and welcome visitor to our shores”.

“On behalf of the Australian people, I extend our deepest condolences to Her Majesty and family, the people of the Commonwealth and to all those who share in this sad news.”

Mr Morrison said he would outline further details about how Australia will honour Prince Philip in coming days but in the meantime, Australians can express their condolences via the website pmc.gov.au.