Canada And The World Mourn The Passing Of Prince Philip
Flags were lowered to half-mast and bells tolled in the 51 Commonwealth Nations on April 9th with the sad news of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband and consort to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, just two months shy of his 100th birthday.
Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke of Edinburgh passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle. It was there that Prince Philip had recently returned after a lengthy stay in hospital undergoing various procedures.
The news was met with profound sadness and statements of sympathy from around the world. In his 73 years of public life, other than The Queen and perhaps his son, Price Charles, Prince Philip had met more world leaders than anyone alive.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau paid tribute by saying Prince Philip was “a man of great service to others, and a man of great purpose and conviction” and that he “maintained a special relationship” with Canada’s Armed Forces, noting he was colonel-in-chief of six Canadian units, honorary general of the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force, and honorary admiral of the Royal Canadian Navy.
The Prime Minister also noted that Philip inspired millions of Canadian Youth to serve through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and supported more than 40 organizations, including the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute.
The bells of the Peace Tower in Ottawa rang 99 times on Parliament Hill on April 9th, once for every year of his life. Flags were dropped to half-mast at all Canadian government buildings in the country and abroad and were set to remain lowered until sunset on the day of Philip’s funeral or the memorial service, which have both yet to be determined.
Born on a kitchen table on the Greek Island of Corfu, Prince Philip came from a royal Greek family and served with honour in the Second World War. Moving first to France and then to England, the Prince first met the young Princess Elizabeth when they were both teenagers, and both recall it being love at first sight.
Married in 1947 and assuming his royal titles when Elizabeth ascended to the Throne in 1952, Philip was her consort and most trusted advisor, and patriarch of the British Royal Family. It is estimated he attended more than 20,000 public outings in his life and gave more than 5,000 speeches as patron of thousands of worldwide charitable causes.
While always a step or two behind the Queen in public, in private Prince Philip led his famous family through triumphs and tragedies for more than seven decades.