British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, President Joe Biden and more public figures paid tribute to Prince Philip after news of his death Friday at age 99

By Benjamin VanHoose and Morgan M. Evans
April 09, 2021 09:38 AM
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After news of Prince Philip's death at age 99, world leaders and public figures from around the globe joined in honoring the Duke of Edinburgh's memory on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson mourned Philip (who retired from his public duties in August 2017) in a statement, remarking that he "earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world."

"Like the expert carriage driver that he was he helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life. He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable," Johnson said.

Prince Philip In Military Uniform As Admiral Of The Fleet In The Royal Navy For A Service Of Remembrance For The Iraq War
Prince Philip
| Credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty

"We remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen," the prime minister added. "Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her 'strength and stay,' of more than 70 years. And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation's thoughts must turn today."

Johnson says the royal family has "lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather."

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day where we are looking back at Prince Philip's life and legacy.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby also issued a statement remembering Philip and his "extraordinary life of dedicated service" — also noting that he "continually demonstrated his unfailing support and unstinting loyalty to Her Majesty The Queen."

queen elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

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"On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special," said Welby.

"I also join many people in giving thanks for the marriage of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, and for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Theirs was a marriage grounded in friendship and mutual respect and sustained by shared faith in Christ," he added. "I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time. May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory."

Prince Philip is survived by his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth, their daughter Princess Anne and their three sons: next-in-line-to-the-throne Prince CharlesPrince Andrew and Prince Edward. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry and nine great-grandchildren, including Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince LouisArchie and Princess Eugenie's new baby boy, August, whose middle name is Philip.

Outside of the U.K., more public figures spoke out to honor Philip's legacy. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Philip "embodied a generation we will never see again." Additionally, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said Philip had been a "great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued. His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all."

Simon Coveney, Ireland's minister for foreign affairs, tweeted, "I want to express sincere condolences to all British people on the sad passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and solidarity are with you on a very sad day for the United Kingdom."

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said, "Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by people across the country." She added that "Prince Philip's long contribution to public life in Scotland will leave a profound mark on its people."

Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, tweeted, "My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace."

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The royal family of the Netherlands also paid their respects with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Princess Beatrix saying in a Friday release: "We remember HRH Prince Philip with great respect. He dedicated his long life to the service of the British people and to his many duties and responsibilities. His lively personality made an indelible impression. Our loving feelings of compassion go out to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and all members of the Royal Family. "

In a heartfelt statement shared to Instagram from King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, the royal pair captioned a photo of themselves with Phillip and his wife.

"Deeeply saddened by the passing away of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We wish to express our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, the British Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom," the post began.

"We will always cherish the memories of our warm encounters. ⁣Philippe and Mathilde," it concluded.

In a statement from King Harald of Norway, he noted that they will honor Philip by raising their country flag at half-mast "from the Palace Balcony today and on the day of the funeral."

"The royal family has received with great sorrow the message that His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has passed away. Our thoughts go to Queen Elizabeth and the immediate family at the passing of Prince Philips. Our condolences also go to the British people," the statement read.

Later on Friday, Prince Albert of Monaco sent a message of condolences to the Queen.

"Your Majesty, I was very sorry to learn this morning of the passing away of your beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," the prince said in a note obtained by PEOPLE. "Allow me to express to you, the members of the Royal Family and the British people, my most sincere condolences and my deep sympathy for your loss at this time of great sorrow. My Family joins me in sending you our heartfelt thoughts and prayers."

In the United States, President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden shared a statement remembering Philip and praising his years of "devoted public service."

"On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire Royal Family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh," the statement began. "Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye — Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family. The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more. His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped."
 
The president concluded, "Jill and I are keeping the Queen and to Prince Philip's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time."

In addition to Biden, former U.S. presidents, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush, also released statements honoring Philip.

"We are sorry to hear that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away. President Carter and other heads of state dined with His Royal Highness and other members of the Royal Family on May 7, 1977, while attending the G7 Summit in London. Image, NAID 174724," Carter's official Twitter page tweeted along with the image of the former president at the 1977 event with the Queen and Philip.

Bush and his wife, Laura, expressed their sentiments to the Queen and the royal family, saying in a statement, "Laura and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and remarkable life, he devoted himself to worthy causes and to others. He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign."

He continued, "Laura and I are fortunate to have enjoyed the charm and wit of his company, and we know how much he will be missed. We join those around the world offering heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the entire Royal Family."

Former President Barack Obama also shared kind words about Philip, writing on Instagram that he and the Queen put him and former First Lady Michelle Obama "at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable" when they first met.

"Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor. It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only," Obama, 59, wrote, later adding, "As the world mourns his loss, we send our warmest wishes and deepest sympathies to the Queen, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and everyone who knew and loved this remarkable man."

Forty-fifth president of the U.S. Donald Trump also paid tribute to Philip in a statement.

"Melania [Trump] and I send our deepest and most profound condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and to the entire Royal Family. We send our most heartfelt sympathies to the British people. This is an irreplaceable loss for Great Britain, and for all who hold dear our civilization," Trump said.

"For seven decades, Prince Philip brought the same sense of duty and purpose to his role as consort and husband to the Queen. He was admired by his fellow citizens, and respected by everyone around the world," he continued. "His exceptional example of service, constancy, and patriotism will be his greatest legacy."