Gun salutes honour Prince Philip after his death aged 99

10 April 2021, 07:08 | Updated: 10 April 2021, 13:38

The Duke of Edinburgh's death was announced by Buckingham Palace yesterday
The Duke of Edinburgh's death was announced by Buckingham Palace yesterday. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Gun salutes rang out at landmarks across the UK at noon in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh who died on Friday at the age of 99.

Saluting batteries fired 41 rounds, at one round every minute - in Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Belfast, Gibraltar and at sea.

In London, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery rode from their base at Napier Lines, at Woolwich Barracks, onto the Parade Ground in memory of Prince Philip.

Members of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a 41-round gun salute at Woolwich Barracks
Members of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a 41-round gun salute at Woolwich Barracks. Picture: PA

71 horses, 36 of them pulling six 13-pounder field guns dating from the First World War deployed their guns today.

The same guns were also fired for Prince Philip's wedding to the Queen in 1947 - and at her Coronation six years later, in 1953.

Prince Philip, the Queen's 'strength and stay' of over 70 years, died at Windsor Castle yesterday, having spent a month in hospital and undergoing a heart procedure.

Members of the Honourable Artillery Company fire a 41-round gun salute from the wharf at the Tower of London
Members of the Honourable Artillery Company fire a 41-round gun salute from the wharf at the Tower of London. Picture: PA

The public was encouraged to observe the gun salutes from home either online or on TV however growds gathered regardless in quiet tribute to the duke as the fusillade rang out.

A 41-gun salute rang out today in honour of Prince Philip
A 41-gun salute rang out today in honour of Prince Philip. Picture: PA

The gun salutes across the UK and in Gibraltar ended at 12.41pm, with one round fired per minute since noon.

A tearful Countess of Wessex today paid tribute to the 'amazing' Queen as she left Windsor Castle.

She said "the Queen has been amazing".

Sophie, 56, spoke to reporters from a Land Rover driven by her husband, the Earl of Wessex.

The couple spent around an hour at the castle on Saturday morning.

People have been urged not to gather and leave flowers outside royal residences - including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.

An online book of condolence has been set up on the Royal Family's official website.

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Announcing his passing, Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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.

READ MORE: Prince Philip: The Duke of Edinburgh Dies Aged 99

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Flowers left at Buckingham Palace
Flowers left at Buckingham Palace. Picture: PA

"The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the most senior officer in the Royal Navy, added to the tributes to Philip.

In a statement released on Saturday morning, he said: "His genuine empathy, affection and engagement with the Royal Navy resonated with us all.

People are being advised not to visit royal palaces
People are being advised not to visit royal palaces. Picture: PA

"His generous spirit, his delight in all aspects of the Naval Service, and his deep understanding of our values, standards and ethos made him such a close friend to the Service for over eight decades."

In London, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride out from their base at Napier Lines, Woolwich Barracks, onto the Parade Ground.

There will be 71 horses, 36 of them pulling six 13-pounder field guns dating from the First World War.

The same guns were also fired for Philip's wedding to the Queen in 1947 and at her Coronation six years later in 1953.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was a constant supporter and ambassador of the armed forces.

"We celebrate his life of service and offer our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family."

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter said: "His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the armed forces and he will be sorely missed.

"The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the armed forces as a whole.

"A life well lived, His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty. From all of us who serve today and who have served, thank you."

The Honourable Artillery Company will fire a salute at the Tower of London, the 104th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire from Cardiff Castle, and the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast and Edinburgh Castle.

Ships taking part include the HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment will join the salute from the British overseas territory.

Philip joined the Royal Navy after leaving school, beginning at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in May 1939, and was singled out as best cadet.

During the Second World War, he served on several ships - firstly on HMS Ramillies - and saw active service against German, Italian and Japanese forces.

In March 1941, he was a searchlight control officer on the battleship HMS Valiant and was mentioned in despatches for his part in the battle of Matapan against the Italian fleet.

Shortly afterwards, he was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.

He rose rapidly through the ranks, earning promotion after promotion, with some believing he could have become First Sea Lord - the professional head of the Royal Navy.

But the Duke stepped down from his active role in the forces to fulfil his duty as the Queen's consort.

In recognition of his long-standing connection with the Royal Navy, the Queen conferred the title of Lord High Admiral on the Duke to mark his 90th birthday in June 2011.