Senedd recalled to pay tributes to The Duke of Edinburgh

The Senedd was recalled on Monday to allow for tributes to be paid to The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip Credit: PA Images

The Senedd was recalled on Monday to allow for tributes to be paid to The Duke of Edinburgh, who died last week aged 99.

First Minister Mark Drakeford led the tributes and told a virtual plenary that the Duke had directly championed causes in Wales across culture, sport and the environment.

Political parties in Wales had suspended campaigning over the weekend as a mark of respect to Prince Philip.

It has been announced that The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be held on Saturday.

Other tributes were paid across the UK to Prince Philip over the weekend, including a 41 gun salute at Cardiff Castle.

Politicians remotely attended the specially reconvened plenary meeting and started by observing a minute's silence. Credit: Senedd TV

Mr Drakeford said: "The last 12 months have seen many families faced with the grief of losing someone they have loved."

"However it happens, each loss is uniquely felt by those for whom that person will leave a gap in their lives which no one else can fill.

"Our thoughts today are with those members of the wider royal family who have to face that loss in the particularly distressing circumstances caused by the public health emergency."

Mr Drakeford added: "On behalf of the Welsh Government, and those supporting the Government in this Parliament...I extend our sincerest sympathies at the end of an exceptional life lived."

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, also spoke to remember Prince Philip. He said: "73 years as a husband, nearly 70 years as a consort. That is a life of public service that I dare say we shall never see again.

"He was someone of such significance in supporting young people in what they did in their lives.

"In Wales in particular, 400,000 people have been put on the road to a future of bright prospects by the development of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme in 1956.

"He offered so much to so many people, whether they were young, middle-aged or old. Our thoughts and prayers are with the royal family as they grieve their mighty loss."

Adam Price spoke on behalf of his party, Plaid Cymru. He said: "Our silence today is a mark of respect and commemoration to the royal family in their grief but it's also a symbol of loss as we grieve with all those who have lost loved ones during this most difficult of year.

"We are here not only to grieve but to thank Prince Philip for his lifetime's contribution...The ultimate contribution is to serve others.

"It is not title, or status, or crown that is Prince Philip's most important legacy that we celebrate today, but the support he provided for others. We thank him for his contribution."

A 41-gun salute was performed at Cardiff Castle over the weekend to pay tribute to Prince Philip Credit: PA Images

The Palace said Prince Philip's funeral would be "modified" to adhere to existing coronavirus regulations.

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip's ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute's silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm.

In a statement the Palace said: "During the coronavirus pandemic, and in light of current Government advice and social distancing guidelines, modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements for His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh are being considered by Her Majesty The Queen.

The Duke's coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot, a senior Palace official said.

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister's recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until and including the day of the funeral.

Only 30 people - expected to be the Duke's children, grandchildren and other close family - will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.

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