London – Military weapons will be fired across Britain and sporting events will be held on Saturday as part of global tributes to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip.
Philip, the longest-serving royal consort in British history and a constant presence alongside the Queen for decades, died on Friday at the age of 99, sparking a period of national mourning.
The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described her 73-year-old husband as his “strength and home” throughout his long reign.
Flags are already flying at half mast over government buildings and will do so until the day after his funeral, the date of which has not yet been announced.
Starting at 12:00 (11:00 GMT), the Salvation Batteries will fire 41 rounds – one revolution per minute for 40 minutes – in cities such as London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Gibraltar and from warships of the Royal Navy at sea.
The Premier League and other sporting events are expected to pay tribute, with the Football Federation recommending wearing black armbands and observing a minute of silence before this weekend’s games.
A two-minute silence will take place before Saturday’s Grand National, the country’s premier horse race.
The well-prepared protocol for the Duke’s death – codenamed “Forth Bridge” – includes the recall of parliament on Monday.
British TV stations have erased their schedules for specials on his life, although the BBC has said it has received complaints about the general coverage.
Westminster Abbey, where the couple married in 1947, rang their tenor bell 99 times on Friday, once for every year in the prince’s life.
The political campaign for the local elections in May has come to a halt and loyalist leaders in Northern Ireland, who have revolted for days amid mounting political tensions in the British province, called on Friday for a pause in the violence.
The appeal – “as a sign of respect to the Queen” – was widely heard.
The marches planned by members of the pro-British trade union community in Belfast were called off on Saturday.
But despite calls for calm, some lower level disorder persisted overnight.
Phili – who reportedly celebrated his 100th birthday in June – had been ill for some time and spent more than a month in hospital from February 16 being treated for pre-existing heart disease and infection.
Although he appeared fragile when he was released from hospital on March 16, hopes have been raised for his recovery.
But the Queen announced Philip’s death “with deep sadness” after his peaceful death Friday morning at Windsor Castle, west London.
“The royal family join people around the world in mourning their loss,” a palace statement said.
In pre-recorded comments aired on a BBC special on Friday, Philip’s children recalled memories of their father, his long life and his accomplishments.
“Well you know he didn’t suffer from fools. So if you said something that was somehow ambiguous he would say to you ‘make up your mind!’” Said his eldest son and heir to the queen, prince charles.
His sister, Princess Anne, said: “There was a tremendous amount of encouragement to get things done and a lot of leeway to push your own limits, which probably isn’t given to many these days.”
‘Farewell, my beloved’
The front pages of Saturday’s UK newspapers expressed a wave of grief, with tabloid The Sun making the headline “We All Cry With You Madam” in photos of the Prince and Queen.
The Daily Mail splashed a photo of the Queen looking at her husband with the headline ‘Farewell, my beloved’ on the front page of its 144-page souvenir edition.
Tributes have come from home and abroad, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson thanking, as a nation and kingdom, the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip ”.
Political and religious leaders from Britain and the United States, Europe and Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and Pakistan also paid tribute.
In Australia, flags will fly at half mast and a 41-gun salute will take place in the capital Canberra on Saturday as part of commemoration plans.
US President Joe Biden highlighted the long history of duty of WWII veteran Philip to the Queen, “the people of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and their families.”
He called him a “hell of a guy” who “never slowed down” in his long life.
Tributes have also poured in from British entertainment royalty, including Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger and cast members of hit Netflix drama “The Crown.”
Actor Matt Smith, who played Philip in the first two series, said, “Prince Philip was the man. And he knew it. 99 and out but what a round. And what a style.”
“Thanks for your service, buddy – it won’t be the same without you.”
Tobias Menzies, who played Philip in series three and four, paid tribute with a quote from “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare.
“‘O good old man! How well appears to you. The constant service of the ancient world …’ RIP.”
Harry’s probable return
Philip is expected to be buried in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, according to the Royal College of Arms, on a date to be determined.
Her grandson Prince Harry is likely to make his first return to Britain since his shock move to the United States last year, British media reported.
Philip retired from his public service in 2017 at the age of 96, declaring “I have done my part”.
The couple, who celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November, lived largely in isolation in Windsor as their age put them at increased risk of Covid-19.
He was last seen in an appearance at a military ceremony in Windsor last July, days after attending the wedding ceremony for his granddaughter, Princess Beatrice.
Much of the funeral planning had to be adapted to avoid gathering large crowds, due to strict coronavirus restrictions and social distancing guidelines.
On Saturday, members of the British public continued to pay their respects outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor, despite requests from the Royal Family that people not congregate at royal residences due to Covid restrictions.
Hundreds of flowers that had been laid outside the Queen’s official residence in central London on Friday have been moved to Windsor, apparently to deter further gatherings.
An online condolence book on the Royal Family’s official website has been put in place rather than conventional public tributes, and no lies.
Salute to the pistol and silence to mark the death of Prince Philip
SourceSalute to the pistol and silence to mark the death of Prince Philip