Bell tolls at Westminster Abbey in tribute to Philip

Emma Bowden, PA
·2-min read

Westminster Abbey is paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh by tolling its tenor bell 99 times, once for every year of his life.

Following the royal’s death, the abbey announced it would toll the bell every 60 seconds, from 6pm on Friday.

A small crowd of onlookers stood to observe as the abbey began its tribute, with the historic building’s flag flying at half mast.

The duke had a long association with Westminster Abbey, located just minutes from Buckingham Palace, which is where he married the Queen in 1947.

The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in Westminster Abbey
The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in Westminster Abbey (PA)

The couple also celebrated their silver, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries with services in the abbey.

The duke was president and chairman of the Westminster Abbey trust, set up in 1973 to raise funds for the restoration of the exterior of the building.

The tenor bell is the largest of the abbey’s 10 bells and is traditionally tolled upon the death of a member of the royal family, according to the abbey.

Westminster Abbey said it would be open from Friday until Sunday for private prayer and worship following the duke’s death.

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In tribute, the Dean of Westminster said: “It is with profound sadness that we learn of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who served HM The Queen and our nation with an unwavering commitment.

“We remember, above all, a self-effacing sense of duty that has been a benchmark of moral purpose in public life for so many years.

“We note with deep gratitude his contribution to the military, charities and young people.

“We are also deeply thankful for his support of our abbey church, including his work to raise funds for the restoration of the abbey.”