Prince Philip: Royal family shares Queen's touching tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

Credit: Annie Leibovitz 2016

The Royal Family has shared the Queen's touching wedding tribute to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, a day after his death.

On Instagram, the Royal Family shared a picture of the couple and the moving quote from the Queen from a speech she made celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.

She said: "He (Philip) has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."

The Queen was speaking in November 1997 during a lunch at Banqueting House in London, in which she looked back on "a remarkable fifty years".

The Royal Family also posted pictures of the Duke with the Queen at her coronation in 1953 on Twitter, saying: "The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be Her Majesty's 'liege man of life and limb.'

"The Duke was a devoted consort (companion to the Sovereign) for almost 70 years, from Her Majesty's Accession in 1952 until his death."

A life in public service was set for the Queen and Prince Philip from the beginning of their relationship, their personal roles evolving from young sweethearts to married parents and eventually to great-grandparents in an expanding royal dynasty.  

Theirs was a union rooted in a wartime romance following an encounter at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1939 when the queen was just 13. 

Lady Pamela Hicks, Prince Philip’s cousin recalls the moment Elizabeth first met the dashing Duke: "I think she fell in love from that day onward. And then of course, when she blossomed into a very beautiful young woman with that dazzling complexion, so he fell too.  

"He of course really looked like a kind of Viking God - very tall, very blond, marvellous-looking, all the girls in England were in love with him." 

And while they rarely shared emotion or affection in public, the Queen was in no doubt of the importance that Philip played.

Her Majesty paid tribute to him at the Golden Wedding celebrations in 1997, saying she, her family and the Commonwealth owed him a debt "greater than he would ever claim" after years of service.  

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh marking their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997 Credit: PA

On their golden wedding anniversary, Philip had said: "I think the main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage."

He added: "It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult.

"You can take it from me that the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance."

The success of the couple’s long-lasting marriage, which spanned more than 70 years, was put down to their compatibility, with shared interests and the same dutiful royal training.

On the royal family’s official website, Philip is described as having been a "devoted consort (companion to the Sovereign) for over 60 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952 until his death".

The Queen and Philip pictured at Balmoral in 1972 Credit: PA

The social media tributes from the Royal Family come as gun salutes will take place across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

Gun salutes have been fired to mark significant national events since as early as at least the 18th century.

They were used to mark the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.

The public is being encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which will be broadcast online and on television, from home

The gun salutes will be shown live in a special programme - A Royal Salute: Live - on ITV and from 11.30am.