His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle at the age of 99.
His Royal Highness was a constant figure at the side of the Queen during times of joy and times of strife. Prince Philip served with distinction in World War Two, seeing military action for the first time in the Indian Ocean. By October 1942, he was 21 years old - and one of the Royal Navy's youngest first lieutenants - a role he selflessly gave up when his wife became Queen, who married Phillip despite her parents' objections to him being 'rough and ready'.
He was very much a man of the people - setting up informal lunches where the Queen could meet people from a broader range of backgrounds. The footmen - palace servants with a traditional uniform - stopped powdering their hair. And when he learned the palace was running a second kitchen exclusively to feed the royals, he had one shut down. With typical humility he has asked not to have a state funeral.
He was also instrumental in the transition from the British Empire to the more inclusive Commonwealth, accompanying the globetrotting Queen on Commonwealth tours and state visits, he visited 143 countries in an official capacity, making use of his fluent French and German. The countries included Vanuatu, a South Pacific island nation, where he is revered by one rainforest community as the reincarnation of an ancient warrior.
But one of his most enduring legacies is the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, founded in 1956. Participants aged 14-25 can gain awards by doing volunteer work, learning physical activities and skills, and undertaking an expedition like a mountain trek or a sailing trip. In 2016, almost 1.3 million young people were taking part in the scheme in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide. Lord Watitune was honoured to be a participant himself and also briefly met the Duke at a formal function in 2008. Prince Phillip was also patron of a further 816 charities.
Lord Watitune has signed the online book of condolence and will observe a minute silence later today.
"Whilst it is important to acknowledge His Royal Highness' passing, and express our sympathy to the Royal Family, I feel the most fitting tribute is to seek to emulate the Prince's qualities of tolerance, fortitude and service for our own modest nation; whilst recognising the global importance of this unique individual. RIP His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."
Lord Watitune, Lord of the New Weddington Isles.