Havering pays tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
- Credit: PA
Tributes have been paid in Havering to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away this morning (April 9) aged 99.
Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Queen's husband of 73 years in a statement, and said he "passed away peacefully" this morning at Windsor Castle.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell thanked the Duke for his service to the Queen, country and Commonwealth.
He said: "I was honoured to have had the privilege of meeting His Royal Highness on many occasions over the past twenty years and will always cherish his kind words and sense of humour."
The MP welcomed the Queen and Prince Philip as they arrived in Romford Market in March 2003.
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He added: "A day that I and the people of Romford will always remember with great fondness.
"May he rest in peace.
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"Thank you, Prince Philip."
Caron Webb has owned a stall in Romford Market for over 20 years, and fondly remembers the Royal visit in 2003.
She said: “It was a lovely day, the sun was shining and the crowds were unbelievable."
The baby clothes stall holder said she even spoke to the Queen, who asked her about why she began working at the market.
She added: “They were such a lovely married couple and I could tell that they enjoyed what they were doing, it wasn’t just a job.
“It’s a really sad day, but Prince Philip had a fantastic life.
“He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and I bet the Queen was a bit mortified, but he just said it how it was.
“I just found him a very happy, colourful, lovely man.”
As part of their visit to the borough in that year, the royal couple also went to the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch, where a plaque was unveiled to launch the venue's 50th anniversary celebrations.
Remembering their visit, box office member Jenefer Boddington said: "All the staff stood in the auditorium watching whilst the Queen and Prince Philip went up on stage and walked along a line of special guests and dignitaries, greeting them and shaking their hands.
"The Queen finished first and whilst she waited in the auditorium for Prince Philip to finish chatting on stage, she said to those standing around her: 'I spend my life waiting for him.'"
Jon Cruddas, Dagenham and Rainham MP, said he was "saddened" to hear of the Duke's death, and also paid tribute for his service to the nation.
He added: "Service that included his active duty in the Royal Navy during the Second World War in the defeat of Nazism.
"My thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and all of the Royal Family."
Julia Lopez, Hornchurch and Upminster MP, recalled Prince Philip being taken to hospital the day after he stood for hours in the cold and rain to watch the Queen's Diamond Jubilee flotilla in 2012.
She said: "He carried on not just out of respect for his wife but for the countless ordinary people who had worked so hard to put on the event.
"That stoicism, that sense of duty, that lack of complaint - it was indicative of the lives of service that he and Her Majesty the Queen have led.
"This has been a terribly difficult year for families across the country, many of whom have lost a loved one.
"It feels at times like today not just that we have lost beloved individuals but our links to a particular generation who embody that sense of service to nation, family, and community.
"My heart is with Her Majesty and the Royal Family at this extremely sad time.
"We are all grateful to Prince Philip for the tremendous support he has given the Queen as our country's longest-serving consort.
"His legacy will be the many initiatives that he pioneered, above all the Duke of Edinburgh scheme that has so transformed the lives of many young people."
Council leader Damian White said: “On behalf of the residents and businesses of Havering, I would like to express our deep sense of loss at the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
"Through initiatives like the Duke of Edinburgh awards which have benefited so many young people and his visits to our borough, he has left an indelible mark on Havering.
“As a mark of respect, Havering Council has joined other local authorities across the country in lowering the flags at the Town Hall, Romford to half-mast.
“We give thanks for His Royal Highness’s tireless service to his country and the Commonwealth in war and in peace and send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the Royal Family and in particular Her Majesty the Queen, in whose grief we share.”