Gibraltar will mark the passing of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh with a 41 gun salute at 1pm today.
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said yesterday in an official statement “It is with deep sadness that we have learnt earlier today of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Our sadness will be shared across all of Gibraltar and the rest of the United Kingdom.
The Duke of Edinburgh has been greatly respected throughout the world for his life of dedicated service to the United Kingdom.
He will also be remembered for his constant, steadfast support to Her Majesty the Queen throughout their lives together.
In that role, as husband and Consort to our Queen, he has been a hugely important part of the hierarchy of our nation’s Government.
Prince Philip always had an interest in Gibraltar.
He was here in November of 1950 when he officially inaugurated our then Legislative Council.
He visited again, with Her Majesty the Queen, in 1954 on their tour of the Commonwealth.
The Duke also visited on a number of other occasions.
In 1957, he personally berthed the Royal Yacht Britannia alongside in our Dockyard on the final stop of his Antarctic Adventure. On that visit, he remained on the Rock for 10 days.
And in 1991 he personally piloted the aircraft on which he flew into Gibraltar Airport when he visited us to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Award Scheme.
He was also the Admiral of the Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club.
Every time I had the privilege of meeting him, here and in London, he recounted positive recollections of his many times on the Rock.
The last time I spoke to the Duke, he was keen to ask after the fortunes of our People and had fond words of recollection of the Convent, where he stayed on his visits to Gibraltar.
Prince Philip was always a great supporter of Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians.
Today, as soon as the proclamation of the Duke’s death had been made at Buckingham Palace, we lowered the flags of our official buildings.
Our flags will remain at half-mast until the day after the Duke’s funeral.
I have written to Her Majesty the Queen to offer the deepest condolences of Her Government of Gibraltar and the People of Gibraltar to Her Majesty of course and to all the members of our Royal Family at this sad time”
Spain’s King Felipe VI also paid tribute to Prince Philip. In a telegram that he and Queen Leticia sent to the Queen, they expressed “all our love and affection” to Aunt Lilibet (the affectionate name used by the duke for his wife) and Dear Uncle Philip.
“We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him,” they told the Queen.