Pope praises Prince Philip's 'devotion' to marriage and family

In a message to the British monarch, the 84-year-old Argentine pope offered 'heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty and the members of the Royal Family.'

Britain's Queen Elizabeth (L), accompanied by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip (C), as she greets Pope Francis at the Vatican, on 3 April. Picture: AFP.

ROME – Pope Francis on Saturday saluted Prince Philip, the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II, as a man devoted "to his marriage and family."

In a message to the British monarch, the 84-year-old Argentine pope offered "heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty and the members of the Royal Family."

He praised the prince, who died on Friday aged 99, for his "devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service and his commitment to the education and advancement of future generations."

Francis concluded his message by invoking "the Lord's blessings of consolation and peace" for the queen and for "all who grieve (Prince Philip's) loss."

GUN SALUTE

Gun salutes echoed around the United Kingdom on Saturday as the military paid solemn tribute to Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, after his death aged 99.

Coordinated 41-round salutes to the former Royal Navy commander were fired at one round per minute from 12:00 pm (1100 GMT) in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Belfast, as well as at naval bases, from ships at sea and in the British territory Gibraltar.

TRIBUTE FROM SOUTH AFRICA

On Friday, President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed deep sadness and conveyed his condolences over the passing of Queen Elizabeth's husband Prince Philip.

President Ramaphosa said South Africa’s thoughts and prayers were with Her Majesty, the royal family, the government and the people of the United Kingdom as they mourned their loss.

The president said Prince Philip was a remarkable public figure who lived an extraordinary life and who will be fondly remembered by many people around the world.

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