Prince Philip dies aged 99 - Sleaford woman recalls her encounter with the Duke of Edinburgh
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His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has passed away peacefully this morning (Friday, April 9) at Windsor Castle, it has just been announced.
The Royal Family issued the statement on Twitter just after 12pm.
In the statement it 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 Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The Duke of Edinburgh was 99-years-old and had spent some time in King Edward VII’s Hospital for a heart condition, only leaving the hospital on March 16.
Philip, 99, was the longest-serving consort in British history.
The duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side and leading such ground-breaking schemes as the Duke of Edinburgh Awards for young people. He served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War, before he married.
Prince Philip visited RAF College Cranwell with the Queen in 1970.
The Royals went on a walk about to meet the crowds of well-wishers when she paid a visit to the RAF college to celebrate the base’s 50th anniversary in June 1970.
They were viewing the RAF station with a more than an interested eye as their son, Prince Charles, was due to begin four month’s training there in March. They even met the Prince’s future flying instructor – Squadron Leader Richard Johns.
The Royals were treated to a flying display spanning the five decades of expansion at Cranwell, from biplanes to jet aerobatics.
On another occasion Prince Philip visited Sleaford on his own and was treated to a tour of the town.
Melita Walker is Duke of Edinburgh Awards Co-ordinator for the Robert Carre Trust, leading students on the scheme from Carre’s Grammar school and Kesteven and Sleaford High School.
She said: “I am extremely saddened by this news, but my thoughts have to be with the family.
“I had the pleasure of meeting the Duke of Edinburgh on several occasions at Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Presentations (GAPs) both in St James’ Palace and Buckingham Palace, since my involvement in the Award began in 2006.
“The last time I was at St James’ Palace working at a GAP I was introduced to him and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘we have met before’, to which I responded, ‘Yes sir we have’.
“He had a great sense of occasion, humour and a fabulous memory despite his advancing years.
“I wish Prince Edward all the very best as he steps in to take over the role for the Duke of Edinburgh Award.”
Here’s comment from LCC Leader:
Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Coun Martin Hill, said: “This is an extremely sad time for the entire nation. As the husband and loyal consort of our longest serving Monarch, he provided immense support and presided over numerous public engagements until he stepped down from his duties in 2017.
“We were very fortunate to host him several times over many decades, enabling him to see our county at its best. From visiting the East Coast after the devastating flooding in 1953 to the opening of facilities at Bourne Grammar School in 2013, he has shown support for our communities in Lincolnshire many times.
“As well as public events, privately he visited the county many times – mainly RAF Cranwell to support his grandson, Prince William, who was training to become an RAF pilot.
“Not only did he visit often, his well recognised ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ scheme also ran in the county, which made a huge difference in enhancing the lives of many of our young people.
“The Duke was an enigmatic character and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”
Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward said: “As servants of the Crown it has been an honour to serve HRH Prince Philip as he stood alongside HM the Queen. Our condolences go to the Royal Family.”
Lincolnshire Police control room paid tribute on social media saying: “RIP Sir from all in the Lincs Police Force Control Room.”
Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance added: “We are saddened to hear about the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time. RIP Prince Philip.”