Queen’s children pay her visits as gun salutes across U.K. honour Prince Philip

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The British military fired gun salutes across the United Kingdom from land and sea on Saturday to mark the death of Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband and pillar of strength during her 69-year reign.

Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, meanwhile, travelled to Windsor Castle on Saturday to visit with their mother, the Queen, whom Philip was married to for over 73 years. Edward and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spent around an hour at the castle.

Sophie told reporters “the Queen has been amazing” as the couple left Windsor in a Land Rover.

Andrew waved at crowds as he left. Prince Charles, the Queen’s oldest child and heir to the throne, visited his mother on Friday, shortly after Buckingham Palace announced that the 99-year-old prince had died at Windsor Castle.

In a tribute program aired by the BBC on Friday, all four of Philip’s children remembered him as someone who had encouraged and supported them.

Prince Andrew leaves Windsor Castle on Saturday after visiting his mother, Queen Elizabeth. (Steve Parsons/The Associated Press)

Charles described his father’s life as an “astonishing achievement” while Edward said his father had a tough job that was carried out with the most “extraordinary flare.”

In honour of the prince, the armed forces, including artillery units in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and some warships, fired Death Gun Salutes at noon local time.

Royal Navy ships HMS Diamond and HMS Montrose took part in the ceremonies to honour the Duke of Edinburgh, who served as a naval officer during the Second World War and held the office of Lord High Admiral.

The U.K. defence ministry said that batteries would be firing 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in various cities and from the naval warships.

Gun salutes also marked the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.

Pandemic means more low-key farewell 

Authorities were encouraging people to watch the gun salutes online or on television from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Mourners are again leaving flowers again in front of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, a day after Philip’s death was announced.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, take part in the unveiling of a statue of jazz legend Oscar Peterson at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on June 30, 2010. Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband of more than 70 years, passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Small groups of people gathered Saturday morning near the front gates of the palace, where the Union Jack flies at half-staff.

Earlier, the flowers left there on Friday had been removed and were placed in the back of a van. Palace officials have been encouraging people not to come to Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle to leave flowers amid the pandemic.

The BBC reports that palace organizers had been working on contingency plans to avoid attracting mass gatherings in the event that the duke died.

In keeping with Philip’s wishes, he will lie in rest at Windsor Castle before a funeral is held in St. George’s Chapel, a short distance away, said the College of Arms, which oversees many ceremonial functions for the royals.

Buckingham Palace is expected to announce details of the funeral later on Saturday.

All federal buildings in Canada, including the Peace Tower in Ottawa, will have flags lowered at half-mast until Philip’s funeral, it was announced Friday. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said the PMO had no details yet from the Royal Family to share on attending a funeral ceremony.

WATCH | Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died:

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband to Queen Elizabeth and Britain’s longest-serving royal consort has died 2:51

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