Welsh Parliament recalled to pay tribute to life of Duke of Edinburgh

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The Welsh Parliament is to be recalled on Monday to pay tribute to the life of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Buckingham Palace announced the death of the duke, aged 99, in a statement issued just after midday on Friday.

Political leaders across Wales have praised Prince Philip’s decades of public service and offered their condolences to the Queen and royal family.

Flags are being flown at half-mast on all Welsh Government buildings and the Senedd estate, as well as on many civic buildings in the country.

Online books of condolences have also been opened for those who wish to pay their respects to Philip, the longest-serving consort in British history.

The main political parties in Wales have suspended campaigning for the forthcoming Welsh Parliament election on May 6.

Elin Jones, Llywydd, said: “The prince gave many years of public service.

“This included active military service during the Second World War and the creation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award which has given hundreds of thousands of young people in Wales and beyond vital experiences and opportunities.

“The Senedd sends its condolences.”

Speaking in Cardiff following news of the death, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

“Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.

“He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as patron or president over many decades of service.”

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, sent his condolences to the Queen and her family on behalf of the party.

“For over six decades many young people in Wales will have experienced and benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, a reflection of the Duke’s many decades of public service,” he said.

“My thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time.”

Andrew RT Davies, Senedd leader of the Welsh Conservatives, paid tribute to Philip’s “remarkable life” and described the duke as “the strength and stay” to the Queen.

He added: “Dutiful, devoted, and diligent, his like will never be seen again, and the Welsh Conservatives offer their deepest condolences to The Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Simon Hart, secretary of state for Wales and Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said Philip’s life would “inspire so many across the world”.

“He had a hugely positive impact on thousands of people from all generations in Wales,” Mr Hart said.

The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, said Philip had been a “rock” in the Queen’s life and had “steadfastly remained” at her side throughout their marriage.

“For his gifts and talents, for the benefits that his life brought to the lives of others, for his sense of duty and calling, and for his many evident and admirable qualities and attributes, we should give thanks and pray that he might be at peace, free from human frailty, and in new life with Christ,” the archbishop said.

He said the “love and prayers” of many from the Church in Wales would be with the Queen and her family following the duke’s death.

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