Councillor Nigel Taylor, Chairman of Somerset County Council, has declared his sadness at the passing of His Royal Highness, The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The County Council’s Union flag at County Hall in Taunton has been lowered to half-mast as a sign of respect, and to mark the beginning of eight days of mourning, following Buckingham Palace’s announcement.
The Duke died peacefully at the age of 99 on Friday at his home in Windsor following a period of ill-health.
Cllr Taylor said: “I have had the honour to act as an armed close protection officer to both HRH Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen on several occasions, and this tragic loss will be almost palpable.
“Prince Philip has devoted himself to Royal duties for nearly seventy years, which is a remarkable commitment to the peoples of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. His passing leaves us all with a shared loss, we are united in grief.”
Government Covid-19 guidelines mean physical books of condolence are unable to be opened in public places at the moment. People who wish to express their condolences can send a message to the Royal Family via the online Book of Condolence on the Royal website.
While people may want to gather to lay flowers and pay their respects, please be mindful of the current coronavirus restrictions and consider safer alternatives, such as making a donation to charity.
The Duke of Edinburgh will lie at rest at Windsor Castle, in line with his wishes, before his funeral, which will take place at St George’s Chapel on Saturday 17 April. A national minute’s silence will be held to coincide with the start of the funeral at 3pm.