People across Britain learned earlier today that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of the Queen, has died. The Palace released an announcement at midday to confirm that he passed away peacefully this morning.
For many, the news will not be entirely unexpected, as the Duke was not in the best of health and had recently spent many weeks in hospital. Nevertheless, it has left the nation in a state of shock, and tributes have been pouring in, including from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Earlier today, programmes on daytime channels were interrupted as news about the Duke’s death broke.
Statement released by the Palace
A brief statement regarding the Duke's death was released early this afternoon. However, further details are expected to be released over the course of the day.
In the statement, Royal officials wrote: "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."
In the meantime, people have started to gather outside Windsor Castle where the Duke passed away. There are no huge crowds as would typically be expected due to continued Covid restrictions. Still, some people, including locals, have left flowers and cards outside Windsor Castle. Others have gathered outside Buckingham Palace.
Tributes pour in from key figures
Tributes started to come in from key figures this afternoon as news of the Duke’s death spread.
The Prime Minister paid tribute to the Duke, stating that he "inspired the lives of countless young people".
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said the Duke "consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service".
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also sent a tweet in response to the news. She wrote, "I send my personal and deepest condolences - and those of [the Scottish Government] and the people of Scotland - to Her Majesty The Queen and her family."
Last few weeks spent at Windsor Castle
Prince Philip spent his last few weeks at Windsor Castle with the Queen after his eventual discharge from hospital. He had spent much of the past year with the Queen isolating at Winsor Castle, and it was here that he spent his final days with his wife by his side.
The Duke was just two months away from his landmark 100th birthday, for which he had previously stated he did not want any fuss.
The son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice, Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth in 1947. She would become Queen five years later, and by the time he died, Prince Philip had become the longest-serving royal consort in British History.