HRH The Duke of Edinburgh
Following the official announcement, the Mayor of Waverley, Councillor Penny Marriott commented:
“On behalf of all the residents of Waverley I would like to express how deeply saddened we are at the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. He leaves behind a huge legacy of sacrifice and service to the country, through his time in the military and an incredible range of charitable works.
All our thoughts are with Her Majesty and the Royal Family at this time.”
Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we ask you not to gather at Royal Residences and to continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel. We are supporting the Royal Household in their request that floral tributes should not be laid at Royal Residences at this time.
Although physical books of condolence are not available due to Covid-19, an online book of condolence is available for everyone to sign by visiting https://www.royal.uk/.
Britain has entered eight days of mourning for the Duke of Edinburgh during which flags will be flown at half-mast, TV presenters will wear black and Parliament will pass no new laws.
Between now and Prince Philip’s funeral, the Queen will not carry out any duties either in public or in private, and any new laws requiring Royal Assent will not be sent to her for approval.
Churches and public buildings have been told not to open books of condolence for the Duke because of Covid restrictions. Official Government guidance says an online book of condolence, opened on the Royal family’s official website on Friday night, should be the sole portal for the public to express their personal tributes.
National mourning will last until 8 am on the day after the Duke’s funeral, with all official flags, including the Union flag, to be flown at half-mast on Government buildings.
The royal standard, flown above royal palaces when the Queen is in residence, never flies at half-mast because it is a symbol of the continuation of the monarchy. The College of Arms has said any non-official flags, such as armed forces flags, should be taken down and replaced with a Union flag or a national flag of the home nations.
The Queen is expected to broadcast a televised message to the nation in tribute to her husband, and the Government will consider arrangements for a national two-minute silence in his honour.
A seven-page document sent to government departments states that “national mourning guidance” for the public, industry and business will be issued as soon as the Royal Household has confirmed final arrangements for the Duke’s funeral.
The Government guidance says “departments communicating directly with the Royal Household should use black-edged stationery during the period of National Mourning on matters relating to demise”. Ministers and officials involved in public events related to Prince Philip must wear a dark suit and black tie or a dark day dress, with a dark coat, and a dark hat and gloves if they wish to.
MPs are expected to wear black armbands while they are at work, and armbands are likely to be worn at sporting events this weekend. A-two minute silence will be observed at the Grand National at Aintree today.
Arrangements for changing photographs of the Duke in official buildings will be announced following the lifting of Covid restrictions in June. The guidance also says all updates to departmental websites and social media channels such as Twitter must be personally signed off by directors of communications in each department.
Parliament will scale back its work in a similar way to periods of “purdah” before elections. No new laws will be passed, no Government announcements will be made and no ministers will give interviews or tweet about policy unless it is specifically to give public health guidance.
MPs have been recalled on Monday – a day early – from their Easter break to pay tribute to the Duke in the Commons.
Downing Street press conferences will be suspended until after the funeral, and local election campaigning has been suspended “until further notice” following a discussion between Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader.
Downing Street said Mr Johnson had also cancelled plans to visit a pub for a pint of beer on Monday, when pubs and restaurants will be allowed to start serving customers outdoors.
The official Royal family website was replaced with a single memorial page to the Duke, while the Prince of Wales’s website was suspended.
Following the eight days of official mourning, the Queen and her family are expected to go into royal mourning for a further 30 days, though exact details have not yet been announced. Members of the Royal family, their staff and representatives of the Queen abroad are expected to wear black and use black-edged writing paper.