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Durham Cathedral mourns the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

09 April 2021

Durham Cathedral is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The Rt Revd Paul Butler Bishop of Durham said: "The Church of England in the Diocese of Durham and people across our region joins Her Majesty The Queen, members of the Royal Family and those across the country who mourn the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. His dedication to Queen and Country born out of his Christian faith stands as an inspiration for us all."

"He gave a lifetime of devoted public service. He was a distinguished young Lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He was outstanding as consort to The Sovereign. An exile as a baby from his native Greece, Prince Philip committed himself and his future to the United Kingdom. He is well remembered for his love of a wide range of sports, his sense of humour, and his long and devoted marriage to The Queen. As one baptised in the Orthodox faith, Prince Philip shared in a truly global Christian faith. May he Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory."

"It was my personal privilege, as a bishop, to meet Prince Philip on a small number of occasions. Each time he took a keen interest in the people and setting in which we met. He listened thoughtfully and was always ready with an apposite comment or observation."

Following a successful naval career during which he saw active service in the Second World War, the Duke of Edinburgh became the longest serving consort in the British monarchy's history after dedicating much of his life to royal duties alongside Her Majesty The Queen. The Duke’s military background was something that never left him, evidenced by the various patronages he held and his numerous charitable associations. 

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of Durham, said: “It is with enormous sadness that we receive the news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his decades of loyal service, Prince Philip has shown unwavering commitment to Her Majesty the Queen, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and he has set a strong Christian example that we can seek to follow. I had the privilege of meeting him on a number of ceremonial occasions and was always impressed by the sincere interest he showed to members of the Armed Forces. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.”

Prince Philip’s passion for industry has been seen in countless visits to the North East, including various coal-mines in Hartlepool and East Durham over the years. The people of the North East owe Prince Phillip a great debt of gratitude for the contribution he made to the improvement of British industrial life during his many years of service. 

The cathedral is flying the Union Flag at half mast, in Prince Philip’s honour until he is laid to rest. A bell will toll on Friday 9 April from 2pm 99 times at minute intervals, also in Prince Philip’s honour. Special prayers will said on Friday 9 April at Evening Prayer at 5.15pm. This will be followed by a special service of Evensong during the week commencing Monday 19 April. Further details will be announced. At this service we will give thanks for Prince Philip’s life, commend him to God’s safekeeping and pray for Her Majesty The Queen and the royal family.

During this national period of mourning we invite the nation to pray with us at this time. 

The Church of England have opened an online Book of Condolence, should you wish to submit a message www.churchofengland.org