South East: His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99

The South East is reflecting on the life of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99.

Prince Philip, the Queen's consort of more than 70 years, passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday, Buckingham Palace has announced.

He was the longest-serving consort in British history and dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

He officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.

A full statement from the palace said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces 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."Further announcements will made in due course."The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on March 16 to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest ever stay.

He initially received care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.

Philip – father to the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – was just two months away from his 100th birthday in June.

  • People in Windsor give their reaction to the news of Prince Philip's death

Tributes are being paid across the South East, including cathedrals and churches in the region.

Salisbury Cathedral has joined the Church of England in sharing a prayer for His Royal Highness, and is displaying a portrait of Prince Philip within the cathedral.

A portrait of Prince Philip is now displayed at Salisbury Cathedral. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The Dean of Salisbury Cathedral, The Very Rev Nicholas Papadopulos, says: "It is a moment of profound sadness for the whole of my lifetime, for the whole of most of our lifetimes.

"Prince Philip has occupied a significant place on the national stage and that place has been characterised by unstinting service. Service first, of course, to her majesty, but service to us all, service to the nation.

"And so to lose him is sad and it is a day on which we pause and give thanks for an extraordinary public servant."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, released in a statement that he gave thanks to God for the Prince Philip's 'extraordinary life of dedicated service'.

The Archbishop went on to say: "He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service.

"During his naval career, in which he served with distinction in the Second World War, he won the respect of his peers as an outstanding officer.

"On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life.

"He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special."

A statue of Prince Philip at Canterbury Cathedral. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Meanwhile in a joint tribute, the Bishops of Rochester, Tonbridge and Dean of Rochester Cathedral said: "Prince Philip’s long life and his unstinting support of the Queen over more than 70 years of marriage have contributed immensely to the life of the nation at home and abroad. "He will also be remembered for his personal initiatives and support in many spheres, not least his encouragement of young people, particularly with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, founded in 1956."

Major of Hastings lays roses in tribute to Prince Philip.

Cllr Nigel Sinden, Mayor of Hastings, this afternoon (8 April) paid tribute by laying a bunch of red roses at the town’s war memorial in Alexandra Park. 

Cllr Sinden said: “I want to pass on my sincere condolences to the Queen on behalf of Hastings Borough Council and all of the people of Hastings. I am greatly saddened at Prince Philip’s death.

 “We are asking anyone who wants to lay a floral tribute to do so at the war memorial in Alexandra Park.

Across the South East, many are flying their flag at half mast upon news of the passing of Prince Philip.

The flag is lowered in tribute of Prince Phillip. Credit: WSFRS

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is among those to do so, with Station Commander Barraclough lowering the Union Flag on Friday afternoon.

Flags can be seen at half mast outside Portsmouth's historic Square Tower, Rochester Castle and Kent County Council.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh in Downing Street and said “he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life”.

"Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world," Mr Johnson said.

On Saturday (9 April), a 41-gun salute will ring out across Portsmouth from the city's naval base, being heard by thousands across the region.