LOCAL leaders including West Dorset MP Chris Loder, the Mayor of Lyme Regis and chairman of Dorset Council have paid tribute to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, following his death on Friday.
The Royal Family announced today that Prince Philip – the Queen’s husband of 73 years and longest-serving consort in history – died this morning aged 99.
West Dorset MP Chris Loder said: “It is with the deepest sorrow that we learn of Prince Philip’s passing.
“I have today written to Her Majesty the Queen on behalf of all of us here in West Dorset, to send her and the Royal Family our deepest sympathies on the passing of her husband, Prince Philip.
“I am so desperately sorry for the Queen in her loss and hope that she will be sustained at this time with the love and affection of so many here in Dorset.
“God save the Queen.”
The flag was raised to full-mast earlier today before being lowered to half-mast at County Hall, Dorchester, in honour of Prince Philip, where it will remain until the day of the funeral, which will take place 10 days after his death.
Flags in Lyme Regis have also been lowered to full mast, including on the Cobb and outside the Guildhall, where town crier Alan Vian will give a special cry in honour of Prince Philip at 11am on Saturday.
People are invited to leave flowers in remembrance of the Duke at the front steps of County Hall in Dorchester.
An online book of condolence will shortly be available from Buckingham Palace for people to show their respect. This link will be shared on the Dorset Council website and on social media as soon as it is received.
People without access to the internet wishing to leave a message in the book can call customer services at Dorset Council on 01305 221000 who will record it for them.
From Monday our libraries will reopen where people without computer access may use the council’s computers to send their own message of condolence. To comply with current COVID rules, we’re asking people to phone ahead and book a computer session.
The nation will now begin a period of mourning for 10 days before a private funeral takes place at Windsor Castle.
Cllr Val Pothecary, chairman of Dorset Council, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family as we mourn the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, and on behalf of Dorset Council I would like to offer them our heartfelt condolences.
“We give thanks for His Royal Highness’s wonderful life and years of devotion to serving the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. He has been an inspiration to us all.”
The Mayor of Lyme Regis, Cllr Brian Larcombe MBE, said: “It is with great sadness that we hear today of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh and we offer our deepest condolences to her Majesty at the loss of her husband and life-long consort to the Queen and country.
“His presence at the Queen’s side has been the image of a generation and he inspired so many people of all ages within the UK and around the world in public service activities and charitable endeavours. He will be sadly missed.”
A statement from Uplyme Parish Council said: “The chairman and members of Uplyme Parish Council wish to express their sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and members of the Royal Family following the death of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
“We remember him above all for his support of Her Majesty but also for his Service in the Royal Navy and his multiplicity of enthusiasms, particularly in founding the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme and his Presidency of the World Wildlife Fund.”
Charmouth Parish Council said: “Charmouth Parish Council is very saddened to hear the announcement that Prince Philip has died at the age of 99. The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday, April 9.
“Unfortunately, because of COVID restrictions the council cannot open a book of condolence. Flowers may be left at the front of The Elms.”
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner of Dorset, Martyn Underhill, released the following statement: “The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset send profound condolences to her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family following the sad news of the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.”