“When a public figure passes, it is sometimes forgotten that above being all he has been to the wider society, he is first and foremost a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather, a brother, all of the roles in which he is truly irreplaceable. As Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has said, Prince Philip was her ‘strength and stay all these years and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.’
“There can be no higher tribute to Prince Philip than those words of Her Majesty. Laureen and I offer our deepest sympathies first to the Queen and all members of the Royal Family, and friends of His Royal Highness. “Canadians knew the Duke of Edinburgh well. Over the years he touched the lives of thousands during the 29 tours of Canada he participated in. At the time of his death, Prince Philip was the second-longest serving member of the Canadian Privy Council, having been summoned in October of 1957.“
The remarkable life of His Royal Highness was anchored by his devotion to public service. He joined the Royal Navy at age 17, was cited in dispatches for bravery under enemy fire while still a teenager and went on over the post-war decades to inspire millions across the Commonwealth to better themselves, their communities and their nations, including Canada. This rich legacy will live on in our beloved country, personified by the thousands of Canadian youths who have gone forward in their lives with greater confidence and ability after participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program.
“Today we mourn the loss of an exceptional man, a true friend of Canada and a trail-blazing partner to our Queen who leaves the institution of the Crown ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century in Canada and the Commonwealth.”