Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to lead MPs’ tributes for ‘irreplaceable’ Prince Philip

The symbol of mourning was being adopted by Sir Lindsay and the Serjeant at Arms, the Speaker’s Secretary, the Speaker’s Trainbearer and table clerks in their procession to the chamber and during a session of tributes.

A trawl of parliamentary records by officials for the Standard failed to find any previous example in modern times of a similar tribute. Black armbands were once common at funerals but have largely fallen out of use, although football teams sometimes wear them after the death of a player or manager.

“We should not forget the wide-ranging achievements of Prince Philip – the ambassador, the serviceman, the scientist, artist, naturalist, family man, committee chairman, traveller, loyal supporter of the country and Commonwealth,” Sir Lindsay wrote ahead of the session.  “He will be sorely missed and impossible to replace.”

After the Speaker’s tribute, Prime Minster Boris Johnson was due to move a motion, expected to be carried unanimously, expressing “the deepest sympathies of this House” to the Queen.

Mr Johnson’s humble address offered “the heartfelt thanks of this House and this nation for his unfailing dedication to this Country and the Commonwealth exemplified in his distinguished service in the Royal Navy in the Second World War; his commitment to young people in setting up The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a scheme which has touched the lives of millions across the globe; his early, passionate commitment to the environment; and his unstinting support to Your Majesty throughout his life”.

MPs were instructed to wear “appropriate mourning dress”, such as a dark coat, suit, or day dress if they wished to speak in the eight-hour session.  Flags were at half mast around Westminster and also at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff which each held separate tributes.

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Tobias Ellwood MP, chair of the Defence Committee, said it was an occasion to “reflect and celebrate” the Duke’s life and said he hoped to speak about the Duke’s support for the military.

“He was an exemplar of that wartime generation who stepped forward to serve, and a continual inspiration across the ranks of what it means to serve your country,” he said on Sky.


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