British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid the tribute to Prince Philip on Friday as the country – and the world – reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband.
Speaking outside his home on Downing Street in London, Johnson said Philip “helped to guide the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains the most important center in the balance and enjoyment of our national life.”
He said Philip was “an environmentalist, and an environmentalist long before it became fashionable,” adding that he had “promoted countless young people’s lives” through his Duke of Edinburgh awards program.
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“We remember the ruler of all this and, above all, for his support of the Supreme Being,” he said. “Not just his wife, who has been near him all the days of his reign, but also her husband, ‘strength and resilience,’ for over 70 years.”
“And it is in His Lord, and in His family, that the thoughts of our nation must change today, for they have not only lost a much loved and respected human being, but they have lost a devoted man and a proud and loving father.
Keir Starmer, leader of the opposition Labor Party, paid tribute to the king, saying in a statement that the United Kingdom had “lost an unusual civil servant.”
“Prince Philip gave his life for our country – from a distinguished faction in the Royal Navy during World War II to decades serving as Duke of Edinburgh,” he said.
“However, he will be remembered above all for his extraordinary commitment and dedication to the Queen.”
Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, thanked God for what he called Philip’s dedicated service life.
“As we recover and rebuild after the dreaded trial of the coronavirus epidemic, we will need resilience and a deep commitment to serve others,” said Welby.
“Throughout his life Prince Philip showed those qualities in abundance, and I pray that we can find inspiration in his example.”
In the United States, the White House issued a statement from President Joe Biden and Mrs. Jill Biden honoring Philip’s “twenty years of community service.”
“On behalf of all Americans, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Her Majness Queen Elizabeth II, to the entire Royal Family, and to the entire United Kingdom on the passing of Her Majesty King Philip, Emperor Edinburgh,” he said.
“His legacy will continue not only in his family, but in all that he has done,” the statement said.
“Jill and I are keeping Queen and Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts at this time,” she said.
Former President Barack Obama was also honored. In a statement he said Philip was “kind and warm, with great intelligence and good humor.”
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden in a statement said Philip had always been “an encouragement to all of us” and the Belgian royal court said he was “deeply saddened” by his death.