Tributes have poured in from around the world for the late Duke of Edinburgh, attesting to the impact of his remarkable long life of devoted public service and global championing of our country.
Commonwealth leaders were among those leading the global mourning. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Duke was “a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others” as he hailed him for contributing “so much to the social fabric of our country – and the world.”
He was joined by Australian leader Scott Morrison, who said the Prince “embodied a generation that we will never seen again.” He went on to reflect on the Duke’s remarkable military service and his more than 20 visits to the land down under, hailing his commitment to Australian civic organisations and the 775,000 Australian youngsters whose lives he touched through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.
Among the tributes were touching comments from all living US Presidents. He had met most US heads of state since fellow World War 2 veteran Dwight D. Eisenhower occupied the office in 1953, with the exception of just Donald Trump and Joe Biden – Trump having visited Britain in 2019 after the Duke had retired from royal duties.
Trump called Prince Philip “a man who embodied the noble soul and proud spirit of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.” He and wife Melania went on to say: “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.
“Prince Philip defined British dignity and grace. He personified the quiet reserve, stern fortitude and unbending integrity of the United Kingdom.”
Following a more formal statement hailing the Duke’s dedication “to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth and to his family”, President Biden spoke more loosely in the Oval Office, calling Prince Philip “one heck of a guy” and adding: “I think he’s going to be missed, particularly in the United Kingdom. 99 years old and never slowed down at all which I admire the devil out of.”
George and Laura Bush said the Duke “represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign” while a statement from the Presidential Library of 96-year-old Jimmy Carter expressed sadness and reflected on a 1977 dinner at the G7.
Bill and Hillary Clinton gave “thanks for his remarkable life of service” and said: “We enjoyed every opportunity we had to visit with him through the years and will always be deeply grateful for the kindness he showed us.”
Barack Obama left a lengthy reminiscence of the Duke on his Facebook page, speaking about how he and Her Majesty made the 44th President and wife Michelle feel “at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable.”
He called Prince Philip “kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor” and adding that he “showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman. Yet he also found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight — serving in combat in World War II, commanding a frigate in the Royal Navy, and tirelessly touring the world to champion British industry and excellence. Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater.”