'Tireless source of support' - Norfolk tributes to Prince Philip
- Credit: PA
Tributes from across Norfolk and Waveney have been paid to Prince Philip, after his death aged 99.
It has sparked an outpouring of tributes, including from prime minister Boris Johnson.
Lord Greville Howard, who owns the Castle Rising Estate, met the Duke on a regular basis as chairman of the National Playing Fields Association, now known as Field in Trust, which Prince Philip was the president of.
Lord Howard said: "I think it is a great loss for the country, and a great loss for the Queen. He was an outstanding man and I was always struck by his intelligence and ability to see the point straight away in any engagement.
"He would always get down to the nitty gritty and his advice was always welcome. He had a wonderful sense of humour and he was a very, very nice man."
Elsewhere, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, on behalf of the Diocese of Norwich, offered its deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and all the Royal Family.
“The Duke of Edinburgh has been a tireless source of support and strength to The Queen through the 73 years of their marriage and the 69 years of her reign," he said. "He has also been an inspiration to very many people in this country and across the Commonwealth through his own charities and organisations.
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“Over seven decades, millions of young lives have been helped and shaped through the establishment of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. I benefitted from the scheme as a young person and being a Gold Award holder set me up with many important skills for life."
He said the Duke had a "great love" of Sandringham and Norfolk, and said he was "held in high esteem" across the area.
And the Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Jane Hedges, said: "Through more than six decades The Duke of Edinburgh has served alongside Her Majesty The Queen, giving her unwavering support and offering outstanding service to the life of our nation and to the whole Commonwealth. He also holds a special place in the affections of the people of Norfolk, having spent most Christmases at Sandringham and supported so many events in the county over the years.
“As we honour the memory of His Royal Highness and give thanks for his life of service, Norwich Cathedral will be open for all to come to pay their respects, to lay flowers, light candles and attend worship."
Norwich Cathedral is planning a memorial service, which will be live streamed, with details set to be announced in the coming days.
Prince Philip visited Caister lifeboat in June 2009. Paul Garrod was chairman of the lifeboat service at the time.
Mr Garrod said: “It’s a very, very sad day. I’ve asked for the flags to go half-mast at the lifeboat station.
“I remember the first time I met His Royal Highness in 2002, when the Queen issued her Jubilee medals, and all the police and emergency services got them through the post. But the lifeboat didn’t get one as they were independent.
“Bernard Matthews got on the case, and we were all invited to Sandringham to be presented the medals.
“So, there was me, Bernard Matthews and the rest of the lifeboat crew having a private audience with HRH Prince Philip.
“We met again in 2007 at the garden party a Buckingham Palace – I was lucky to be Mayor of Great Yarmouth in 2007/8. That was a lovely experience
“In 2009, we invited the Prince down to mark the 40th anniversary of independence of Caister Lifeboat. That was a lovely time. My wife, Lisa, presented him with a painting.
"It is a very, very sad day and we send our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen and the rest of the country.”
Meanwhile, Nick Daubney, ex-mayor of West Norfolk, said: “I was very sad and sorry to hear the news.
“I found Prince Philip to be a fascinating man and I was lucky enough to meet him several times.
“I used to be an engineer and I met him in the early 70s and when I became council leader, my wife and I were lucky enough to be invited to various events.
“His sense of humour was absolutely fantastic. It was great to listen to him talk and be with him.
“What a remarkable man and what a remarkable life.
“I was also a graduate of his Duke of Edinburgh scheme when I was a teenage it certainly shaped me and a lot of my friends, it is one of the most inspirational initiatives for young people.”
Professor David Richardson, University of East Anglia vice-chancellor, said it was "enormously saddening to hear the news".
"The Prince was a valiant and prominent figure of the country, who we have had the pleasure of hosting on campus in the past," he said.
“He is a well-known figure in Norfolk due to our proximity to the Royal Sandringham Estate, and will be sorely missed by the people of the county and the country as a whole.”
In 1994 Prince Philip visited the University alongside the Queen, who formally opened the Queen’s Building on Chancellor’s Drive, for training the region’s occupational therapists and physiotherapists.
Prince Philip was a keen sportsman who pioneered the equestrian sport of carriage driving, which became a favourite pastime in his later years.
He inspired fellow competitor Liz Harcombe, who now lives near Brandon and is a teacher at Lakenheath Community Primary School. She said it was a "great honour" to have worked as a groom for the Duke of Edinburgh and his Windsor-based carriage driving team in 1992/93.
"Prince Philip would always be full of fun and kindness and his first concern was always for his staff and the ponies after long journeys," she said.
"I have many fond memories of his sense of humour but also of his immense skill as a horseman combining great patience and discipline despite his many other commitments.
"His contribution to the sport of horse driving trials has been immeasurable and has certainly been instrumental in my lifelong passion in the sport both as a groom and latterly as a competitor. His Royal Highness will be sadly missed and very fondly remembered by all involved in the sport."