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by Andrew Learmonth
09 April 2021
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

The Queen and Prince Philip at the 2017 Garden Party at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh has died.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen’s husband, who was 99 years old, passed away earlier on Friday morning. 

He had recently been unwell, spending around a month in hospital being treated for a pre-existing heart condition.

In a statement, the palace said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

The prince retired from public life in May 2017, and was rarely seen in public since, spending most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, though moving to be with her at Windsor Castle during the pandemic.

In a statement, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the Duke's contribution to public life in Scotland would "leave a profound mark on its people".

She said: “On behalf of the people of Scotland, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. 

“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by people across the country.

“The Duke of Edinburgh had deep and longstanding ties to Scotland, attending school here at Gordonstoun and regularly holidaying at Balmoral Castle.

“From his patronage of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, to his close association with the University of Edinburgh as Chancellor for over fifty years and his commitments to countless charities and organisations, Prince Philip’s long contribution to public life in Scotland will leave a profound mark on its people.

“Online Books of Condolence will open in the coming days to allow people to pay their respects. In line with current restrictions, the Royal Household has requested that members of the public do not leave floral tributes or gather at the Palace of Holyroodhouse or Balmoral Castle at this time. The Palace has suggested that people could donate to charity instead, if they wish to do so.”

Scotland's political parties moved to suspend campaigning for next month's Holyrood election.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:  “In the middle of a political campaign, this is a reminder of what’s most important in life.

“We have lost a tremendous public servant who for decades served his Queen and country.  My heartfelt condolences are with Her Majesty and all of the Royal Family.

“We have suspended our campaign effective immediately.”

Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “Scotland is today mourning the loss of a dedicated public servant who contributed so much to our country.

“My thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen following the death of her beloved husband and the entire Royal Family, and on behalf of the Scottish Labour Party I offer our sincerest sympathies.

“Prince Philip had a deep love for Scotland and we will now come together as a country to remember his life and mark his distinguished career.”

Alba leader Alex Salmond said: “On behalf of the Alba party, my condolences go to Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest serving consort in history and no-one can question that record of public service.

"The Duke of Edinburgh Awards gave hope and purpose to generations of young people. On a personal level I found Prince Philip direct and forthright but always welcoming and with a fine, enquiring mind.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “This marks the end of an outstanding life of 99 years and decades of outstanding public service too.  Often colourful, sometimes controversial but always dedicated to his wife, The Queen, and to his country.

"The Duke of Edinburgh scheme in particular will be a specific legacy that will endure for years. It enriched the lives of young people which has a worth before any monetary value.  My two sons benefited from it and it helped to make them what they are today. Prince Philip’s passing marks the end of a great life, well lived.

"Out of respect we will suspend our campaign."

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - Scotland has voted for a second independence referendum, says Nicola Sturgeon

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