'A great loss to all of us': Tributes to Prince Philip from Harborough leaders

“His death comes as a great loss to the Queen, the Royal Family and to our entire country,” Cllr Phil King told the Harborough Mail

Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:35 pm

Harborough council leader Phil King has this afternoon led a host of heartfelt tributes paid across the district to the Duke of Edinburgh after he died today aged 99.

Cllr King said Prince Philip’s death at Windsor Castle just two months before his 100th birthday in June was a “great loss” for all of us.

He spoke as the Union Flag flew at half-mast in mourning at the district council’s Symington Building in Market Harborough as well at County Hall in Glenfield as tributes poured in for the Duke.

Prince Philip carried the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich (Photo: Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“I am very sad to hear today that the Duke of Edinburgh has died.

“His death comes as a great loss to the Queen, the Royal Family and to our entire country,” Cllr King told the Harborough Mail.

“He was a massive support to the Queen as he stood unflinchingly at her side for over seven decades – which is just amazing.

“And he did so much good for so many people.

“For a start, the Duke set up the Duke of Edinburgh awards.

“Hundreds of thousands of young people have put in the hard work, time and effort over the years tackling those awards.

“It’s helped to build up their character and it’s been the making of so many of us.

“I myself enjoyed tackling the bronze and silver awards,” said Cllr King.

“And my daughter has attained her D of E gold award, being presented with the accolade by Prince Edward at St James’s Palace.

“It was a very proud moment for myself and my family and we’ll never forget it.”

Recalling his own very personal memories of Prince Philip, Cllr King, who grew up on Teesside, added: “I still vividly remember seeing the Duke of Edinburgh at the 150th anniversary of the Darlington and Stockton Railway in 1975.

“He was so tall and had such a noble ramrod bearing.

“I was also lucky enough to see the Duke and the Queen as they drove along near my home in Stockton in their official car at the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977.

“It was such a privilege and such a thrill.

“So many of us across Harborough and up and down the country will have our own fond memories and anecdotes of the Duke,” said Cllr King.

“His legacy will live on for ever and he will never be forgotten.

“The Duke of Edinburgh dedicated almost his entire life to the Queen and the United Kingdom.

“A man of huge energy and endless stamina, he embodied public service to the letter.

“Our Queen could not have had a better or more supportive Consort for the 73 years that they have been married.”

Adding his own salute, Cllr Phil Knowles, who leads the Liberal Democrats on Harborough council, told the Mail this afternoon: “I am very sad to hear that the Duke of Edinburgh has passed away at the great age of 99.

“He has led an absolutely extraordinary life – and his place in history is assured for ever more.

“There was no blueprint for the role as Consort to the Queen when they were married way back in November 1947.

“But Prince Philip has gone on to carve out a decisive, historic role for himself and made it his own,” said Cllr Knowles.

“He has done so many positive things and taken an enormous interest in so many different areas, topics and subjects over the decades.

“The Duke put his life on the line for his country bravely fighting on warships in the Royal Navy back in the Second World War.

“He’s been a great conservationist, he’s fought for wildlife and the environment, he’s supported natural energy.

“And that’s as well as setting up so many different striking and significant initiatives such as the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.

“The Duke’s death is a huge blow to the Queen and will come as a real shock to a lot of people.

“But his fantastic body of work over more than 70 years and his many towering achievements will live on,” insisted Cllr Knowles.

Cllr Stephen Bilbie, the chairman of Harborough council said: “It is with great sadness that we learned today of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family at this very sad time.”

The Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Michael Kapur OBE, said: “I am deeply saddened by the death of the Duke, who dedicated his life to the service of our country and to providing unwavering support to The Queen.

“I wish to extend my sincere sympathy to The Queen and all members of the Royal family at this very sad time.”

Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, Cllr Pam Posnett MBE, said: “We are all deeply moved to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

“I speak on behalf of the elected members and those working for the county council in expressing our collective sadness.

“As a mark of respect, the Union and County Flags have been half-masted at County Hall.

She added: “I am profoundly saddened by the news of the Duke’s passing and I wish to extend my sympathies to the Queen, who has lost her life-long loyal supporter and loving husband.”

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien said: “Terribly sad news.

“Our thoughts and condolences with the Queen and the whole Royal Family during this difficult time.”

South Leicestershire MP Alberto Costa said: “I am very sorry to hear of the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

“A lifetime of dedicated public service and a rock of support to HM The Queen.

“On behalf of the people of South Leicestershire, may I offer HM The Queen and the Royal Family our sincere condolences.”

The rev Barry Hill, the Anglican Church's team leader in Market Harborough, said: “So sorry to hear. “Prayers for God’s comfort for the Queen, her family and all who mourn.

“Very human grief for them amidst the news of state.”

Simon Cole, the Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, said: “On behalf of all of the officers, staff and volunteers at Leicestershire Police I wish to express our condolences at the announcement of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“We have had the privilege of supporting visits’ that he has made to the Force area on a number of occasions.

“The legacy for young people created by the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards will live on in his memory.”

Leicestershire Chief Fire and Rescue Officer Callum Faint said: “I speak on behalf of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service when I say we are all deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“As a mark of respect, during the period of Royal mourning, the Union and Service Flags on all Service buildings will be flown at half-mast.

“Our sincere sympathy goes out to all members of the Royal family.”