LONDON (AP) — World leaders and people on the street honored Prince Philip’s life of service to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and the British nation Friday after hearing of the death of a man who had been by the monarch’s side longer than most of them have been alive.
At Buckingham Palace, the queen’s London residence, members of the public laid daffodils at the gates, and the flag was lowered to half-staff. The BBC interrupted programming to broadcast the national anthem, “God Save the Queen.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Philip, 99, “earned the affection of generations here in Britain, across the Commonwealth and around the world.”
“We are a kingdom united both in grief and in gratitude,” Johnson said. “Grief at Prince Philip’s passing, and gratitude for his decades of selfless service to the country.”
Philip, who served in the Royal Navy during World War II, married the future queen in 1947 and kept up a full schedule of public appearances until he retired in 2017. On March 16, he was released from the hospital looking tired and gaunt after receiving treatment for an undisclosed infection and a heart problem.
Known for his sharp wit, he fulfilled more than 20,000 royal engagements to boost British interests at home and abroad. He also led hundreds of charities, started programs that helped British schoolchildren, and helped raise his four children, including his eldest son, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.