Gun salute fired in Portsmouth to mark Duke of Edinburgh's death

A gun salute marking the death of the Duke of Edinburgh has taken place in Portsmouth.

Saluting batteries fired 41 rounds at one round every minute at HM Naval Base.

Elsewhere, crew onboard HMS Diamond which left Portsmouth Naval base on Friday, also took part in the gun salute from the English Channel.

Other cities that took part included London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Gibraltar and from Royal Navy warships, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Preparations of the gun salute in Portsmouth. Credit: ITV News Meridian

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 last Commodore of Royal Yacht Britannia, Commodore Anthony Morrow said: "I think it is wonderful that nationally we are remembering a wonderful man and we're doing this today around the country.

"Here in Portsmouth is it very special because this was senior naval base, where we are standing is where Britannia was decommissioned, and the memories are so special for us all to remember such a wonderful man today."

Prince Philip passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced shortly after midday.

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.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Friday: "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 be made in due course.

"The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

The Duke of Edinburgh’s children paid tribute to him, describing him as the rock in the Queen and their family’s lives.

HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on Friday 9 April 2021. Credit: The Royal Family

It is understood Prince Charles travelled to visit the Queen on Friday afternoon, travelling from his home in Gloucestershire to be by his mother's side at Windsor Castle.

Ships taking part in the salute included the HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment joined the salute from the British overseas territory.

Philip joined the Royal Navy after leaving school, beginning at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in May 1939, and was singled out as best cadet.

During the Second World War, he served on several ships – firstly on HMS Ramillies – and saw active service against German, Italian and Japanese forces.

The Duke of Edinburgh, as a serving officer in the Royal Navy Credit: PA

In March 1941, he was a searchlight control officer on the battleship HMS Valiant and was mentioned in despatches for his part in the battle of Matapan against the Italian fleet.

Shortly afterwards, he was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.

He rose rapidly through the ranks, earning promotion after promotion, with some believing he could have become First Sea Lord – the professional head of the Royal Navy.

But the Duke stepped down from his active role in the forces to fulfil his duty as the Queen’s consort.

In recognition of his long-standing connection with the Royal Navy, the Queen conferred the title of Lord High Admiral on the Duke to mark his 90th birthday in June 2011.