Sturgeon hails Duke of Edinburgh’s ‘longstanding ties to Scotland’

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Nicola Sturgeon has paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, hailing his “longstanding ties to Scotland”.

The Scottish First Minister was among the many across the country to mark a silence at 3pm as members of the royal family gathered at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle for Philip’s funeral.

A gun salute at Edinburgh Castle marked the start and the end of the silence.

“The many tributes paid to the Duke of Edinburgh in recent days have shown the depth of his contribution to public life over more than 70 years as well as his longstanding ties to Scotland.

“Many have reflected on his distinguished wartime record, his commitment to countless charities and organisations, and his love and support for the Queen throughout their marriage.

“Today, as the Queen and the royal family mourn the death of a loved one, we take this opportunity to celebrate and honour an extraordinary life.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar also tweeted: “A moving and poignant service to mourn the loss of a remarkable public servant.

“Seeing the Queen sitting alone will have reminded the nation of the hardship we have faced together in this most difficult of years.”

Duke of Edinburgh tribute
Young sailors at the Duke of Edinburgh’s former school, Gordonstoun, lead a tribute aboard the school’s 80ft sail training boat Ocean Spirit (Jane Barlow/PA)

Gordonstoun school remembered the duke during an event at Hopeman Harbour in Moray on Saturday.

Children gathered on the school’s yacht, Ocean Spirit, which was anchored off the harbour.

Newly released images also showed the duke pictured sailing a boat during his teenage years at the prestigious Scottish boarding school.

Philip was captured on camera in 1937 – when he would have been around 15 – at the helm of one of Gordonstoun’s boats, a two-mast, 14-ton vessel named Diligent.

A teenage Philip grins while washing up aboard the school vessel (Major B Varvill R.A.M.C/PA)

Philip’s much-loved schooldays at Gordonstoun under the eye of his eccentric headmaster Dr Kurt Hahn inspired him to start his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

On Friday, school pupils had already taken part in an early morning run by way of tribute to Philip.

Morning runs were compulsory at the school until the 1990s and more than 100 students and staff, in household groups, ran a 3.5km route from Gordonstoun House to the nearby coastguard watchtower which Philip reopened in 1955.

The watchtower replaced a wooden hut which the duke, a member of the “Watchers” – a precursor to the Coastguard – helped build in 1935.

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