Tower of London leads 40-minute global gun salute in honour of Prince Philip as warships fire farewells to Duke at sea

2 months ago 43

GUN salutes across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99 have ended.

Solemn "death gun salutes" took place in London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh as well as from Naval bases in Portsmouth, Plymouth and the Rock of Gibraltar.

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Members of the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 41-round gun salute from the wharf at the Tower of London

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Members of the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 41-round gun salute from the wharf at the Tower of LondonCredit: PA

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in naval uniform on a boat in Malta

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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in naval uniform on a boat in MaltaCredit: Getty - Contributor

Crew members of the HMS Montrose fire a salute for the late duke

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Crew members of the HMS Montrose fire a salute for the late dukeCredit: AP

The Death Gun Salute is fired by the 104th Regiment Royal Artillery at Cardiff Castle

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The Death Gun Salute is fired by the 104th Regiment Royal Artillery at Cardiff CastleCredit: AFP

The Death Gun Salute is fired by The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery at Woolwich Barracks in central London

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The Death Gun Salute is fired by The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery at Woolwich Barracks in central LondonCredit: AFP

The salutes ended at 12:41 with one round fired per minute since midday.

Ships taking part included HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment joined the salute from the British overseas territory, the Ministry of Defence said.

The public were encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which are fired to mark significant national events, on television or online, rather than gathering in crowds to watch outside.

It comes as:

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HMS Diamond, a Daring class destroyer, lead the salutes at sea.

The 8,000 tonne warship – known as the “jewel in the naval crown” – set sail from Portsmouth on Friday with her Ensign flying at half mast.

She is the modern successor to the destroyers the Duke of Edinburgh served on during World War Two.

Members of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment fired a 41-gun salute

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Members of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment fired a 41-gun saluteCredit: Reuters

Royal Gibraltar Regiment stand before firing the Death Gun Salute

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Royal Gibraltar Regiment stand before firing the Death Gun SaluteCredit: AP

Members of the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired a 41-round gun salute at Edinburgh Castle

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Members of the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fired a 41-round gun salute at Edinburgh CastleCredit: PA

Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Clark saluted before members of the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fire a 41-round gun salute at Edinburgh Castle

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Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Clark saluted before members of the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery fire a 41-round gun salute at Edinburgh CastleCredit: PA

Spectators watched the gun-salute from Tower Bridge

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Spectators watched the gun-salute from Tower BridgeCredit: PA

HMS Montrose, a Type 23 Frigate, also fired her 4.5 inch main gun in the Gulf where she is based.

Prince Philip saw 14 years active service in the Royal Navy.

“Across the United Kingdom, in Gibraltar and on HM Ships at sea, saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute for 40 minutes,” the MoD said.

In London, the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, is firing 36 horse-drawn guns at a parade ground in Woolwich Barracks.

The 13-pounder guns, which date from World War One, were the same ones used to mark Prince Philip’s marriage to the Queen in 1947 and they were fired at her coronation in 1953.

Royal navy in Plymouth fire a gun-salute

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Royal navy in Plymouth fire a gun-saluteCredit: Getty Images - Getty

The gun salute in Plymouth took place at Devonport Naval Base

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The gun salute in Plymouth took place at Devonport Naval BaseCredit: Getty

Royal Gibraltar Regiment fire off a tribute gun salute today

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Royal Gibraltar Regiment fire off a tribute gun salute todayCredit: AP

Troops in Gibraltar stand on ceremony

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Troops in Gibraltar stand on ceremonyCredit: AP

Used shells lie on the ground as The Honourable Artillery Company fire a gun salute at The Tower of London

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Used shells lie on the ground as The Honourable Artillery Company fire a gun salute at The Tower of LondonCredit: Getty

The gun salute lasted 40 minutes

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The gun salute lasted 40 minutesCredit: AFP

The Duke served in the Royal Navy during WWII

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The Duke served in the Royal Navy during WWIICredit: Max Mumby

The Duke of Edinburgh on board HMS Ranger at Cowes, Isle of Wight in 2015

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The Duke of Edinburgh on board HMS Ranger at Cowes, Isle of Wight in 2015Credit: EPA

At exactly the same time the Honourable Artillery Company fired its 105mm light guns will fire from the Tower of London.

Sister units from the Royal Artillery fired guns at Cardiff Castle, Edinburgh Castle and Hillsborough Castle in Belfast.

The Navy fired from its Portsmouth and Devonport bases.

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment fired from the Rock.

“Similar gun salutes were fired to mark the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965,” the MoD added.

“The tradition of gun salutes being fired throughout the country to mark significant national events dates back to at least the eighteenth century, and there are historical records of salutes taking place as early as the 14th century when guns and ammunition began to be adopted more widely.”

Britain’s top warrior General Sir Nick Carter said Prince Philip “remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the Armed Forces as a whole”.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “We celebrate his life of service and offer our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family.”

Some say Prince Philip could have become the First Sea Lord had he not married Queen Elizabeth - and his love for the navy spanned decades.

At the onset of WWII, Philip started at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where he would go on to be named “best cadet”.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1940, serving as a midshipman on HMS Ramillies, and was posted to the Indian Ocean.

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As a young naval officer, he was praised for his actions in the decisive Battle of Cape Matapan against the Italian fleet in March 1941.

At the age of 21, Philip was one of the youngest officers in the Royal Navy to be made First Lieutenant and second-in-command of a ship.

And the duke was on HMS Whelp on September 2 1945 in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered.

Princess Anne pays tribute to Prince Philip saying 'life without him will be completely different' following his death

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