World reacts to death of Britain’s Prince Philip

Prince Philip died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) - Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth and a leading figure in the British royal family for almost seven decades, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace said on Friday (April 9).

Here are reactions from major public figures in Britain and around the world.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

"We remember the Duke... above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen, not just as her consort, by her side, every day of her reign, but as her husband, has strength and stay of more than 70 years. And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation's thoughts must turn today.

"Like the expert carriage driver that he was 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."

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US President Joe Biden

"Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye - Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family.

"The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more.

"His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped. Jill and I are keeping the Queen and Prince Philip's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

"The death of Prince Philip fills me with great sorrow. His friendship to Germany, his straightforwardness and his sense of duty will not be forgotten."

French President Emmanuel Macron

Prince Philip "lived an exemplary life defined by bravery, a sense of duty and commitment to the youth and the environment".

Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

Prime Minister Suga said Japan felt "deep sadness" at the news.

"I pay profound respect for his great contribution to further strengthening historical relations between our country's imperial family and the British Royal family as well as promoting mutual understanding between Japanese and British people."

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin

Prince Philip would be "sadly missed" after "a life spent in selfless service to the greater good."

Malaysia's king and queen said he would be remembered for his "steadfast support" of the queen, as well as "his unwavering commitment to the Commonwealth of which Malaysia is a proud member and his efforts to promote stronger ties between the United Kingdom and Malaysia."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

"He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace."

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

"Britain has lost a wise elder who was imbued with a unique spirit of public service. His role in promoting Pakistan-UK relations will always be remembered."

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain

"We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him and the legacy of service and dedication to the crown and the United Kingdom by your side."

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Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin

"Saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time."

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald

"Sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and family on the death of her husband Prince Phillip. Sympathies to those of a British identity on our island, for whom his death will be felt as a great loss."

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

"The US Congress extends condolences over the passing of Prince Philip, whose life was distinguished by an inspiring ethic of dedicated service."

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Former US president Donald Trump

"This is an irreplaceable loss for Great Britain, and for all who hold dear our civilisation. Prince Philip defined British dignity and grace. He personified the quiet reserve, stern fortitude, and unbending integrity of the United Kingdom."

Former US president George W. Bush

"Throughout his long and remarkable life, he devoted himself to worthy causes and to others. He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign. Laura and I are fortunate to have enjoyed the charm and wit of his company, and we know how much he will be missed."

Former US president Barack Obama

"At the Queen's side or trailing the customary two steps behind, Prince Philip showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman. Yet he also found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight - serving in combat in World War II, commanding a frigate in the Royal Navy, and tirelessly touring the world to champion British industry and excellence.

"Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness - all in service of something greater."

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

"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."

UK opposition Labour party leader Keir Starmer

"The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip.

"Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country - from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the Second World War to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh.

"However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to The Queen."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

"I send my personal and deepest condolences - and those of #scotgov and the people of Scotland - to Her Majesty The Queen and her family."

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair

"He will naturally be most recognised as a remarkable and steadfast support to the Queen over so many years. However, he should also be remembered and celebrated in his own right as a man of foresight, determination and courage."

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

"Prince Philip was a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

"Prince Philip will be fondly remembered for the encouragement he gave to so many young New Zealanders through The Duke of Edinburgh's Hillary Award. In over fifty years of The Award in New Zealand, thousands of young people have completed life-changing challenges through the programme."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

"For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her 'strength and stay'. He embodied a generation that we will never see again...

"Prince Philip was no stranger to Australia, having visited our country on more than 20 occasions. Through his service to the Commonwealth he presided as patron or president of nearly 50 organisations in Australia. Given his own service, Prince Philip also had a strong connection with the Australian Defence Force.

"For 65 years, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme has encouraged over 775,000 young Australians to explore their leadership potential. Forty thousand young Australians are currently participating in the programme.

"Australians send our love and deepest condolences to Her Majesty and all the Royal family. The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia."

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Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

"Our thoughts and sympathy are with Britain's Royal Family and the British people at this time of mourning."

Head of MI6, Richard Moore

"The Duke was a true friend of the Service... Always his sharp mind, experience gained from active service and knowledge of global affairs shone through. As we all know, HRH called it as he saw it with directness and wit. Visits were never dull."

King Harald of Norway

"Our thoughts are with Queen Elizabeth and the rest of her family. We also send our condolences to the British people."

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden

"Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued. His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"Prince Philip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world."

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari

"The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is the end of an era. Prince Philip was one of the greatest and publicly recognisable international figures whose contributions to the Commonwealth will be remembered for generations to come."

Zimbabewan President Emmerson Mnangagwa

"May his soul rest in eternal peace."

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Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

"His Royal Highness Prince Philip has been a towering symbol of family values and the unity of the British people as well as the entire global community."

Philip's wife Elizabeth became queen in 1952 while on a trip to Kenya when her father George VI died.

Sultan Haitham of Oman

"His Majesty the Sultan sends a message of condolence and sympathy to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II ... on the death of her husband"

King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain

"HM King Hamad lauded the efforts of the late HRH Prince Philip to serve the United Kingdom and its friendly people."

Belgian Royal Palace

"We wish to express our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, the British Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom. Philippe and Mathilde."

Italian President Sergio Mattarella

The Italian President praised Philip's "exemplary dedication, accompanying the evolution of his country with an open and innovative spirit". Italians would "cherish a grateful memory of his deep admiration for Italy's artistic and cultural heritage", he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

President Putin praised Prince Philip and wished Elizabeth "courage and mental fortitude in the face of a grievous and irreparable loss".

"He rightfully enjoyed respect among the British and internationally," a statement from the Kremlin cited Mr Putin as saying.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres

"He was known for his dedication to charitable causes as a patron of some 800 organisations, in particular those focused on the environment, industry, sport and education."

EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen

"I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on this very sad day."

Philip's former press secretary, James Roscoe

"From military to youth clubs to DoE award recipients, his interest in people & their stories was real, his motivation always encouraging service in other by example. No nonsense, genuine wit: peace maybe, but he won't rest."

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