Celebrities recall happy times with the Duke of Edinburgh

Tom Horton, PA
·6-min read

A number of famous faces have paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh who has died aged 99.

Dame Shirley Bassey, Professor Brian Cox and Carol Vorderman were among those to share messages following the announcement of Philip’s death.

Television presenter Vorderman recounted meeting the duke in a post on Twitter.

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“I went for a private lunch with The Queen at Buckingham Palace quite a few years ago,” she wrote.

“They were both in their 80s and Prince Philip and she were flirting with each other madly and laughing.

“Theirs was a love and a marriage of more than 73 years. Deepest condolences Ma’am.”

Television presenter Prof Cox reflected on his experience of meeting the duke.

He tweeted: “I sat next to Prince Phillip at a lunch a few years ago and we discussed cosmology and relativity for the whole lunch – I hardly ate anything! – he was indeed fiercely intelligent, knowledgable about the subject and endlessly curious. RIP.”

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Actress and comedian Katy Brand also shared her experience of meeting the duke, saying she “liked him”.

“He had a proper twinkle in his eye,” she tweeted.

“He had the air of a man who would know what to do in a bear attack.

“I can see why it worked, the two of them. I feel sad for the Queen. RIP.”

Singer Dame Shirley said she was “saddened” by the news of Philip’s death.

She added on Twitter: “He was an extremely kind & charming man with an exceptional dedication to Queen and Country.

“My thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family. May he rest in peace.”

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The Three Degrees singer Sheila Ferguson tweeted: “It was an honour to have met and dined with you. R.I.P. dear Prince.”

Comedian and writer Gyles Brandreth, who penned a book about Philip’s marriage to the Queen, also paid tribute to the duke.

He told BBC News the duke was the “joint author” of the Queen’s success.

“What I remember most, having seen them together, is how he made her laugh,” Brandreth said.

The duke was a “funny man” and a “good companion” to his wife, he added.

The Oldie of the Year Awards
Gyles Brandreth (Yui Mok/PA)

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood said he was “very sad” to learn of Philip’s death.

He added on Twitter: “It was an honour to have met the Duke over the years, and have been involved in his charitable causes.”

The musician also shared an image of a painting he had done of Philip.

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London theatre Shakespeare’s Globe also paid tribute to Philip, who was a patron of the venue.

“We are deeply saddened to hear that HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has passed away,” the theatre tweeted.

“Prince Philip served as our Patron for over 40 years.

“His support for our founder Sam Wanamaker was integral to building the Globe Theatre and later, opening the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.”

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The official Twitter account for the Tate galleries shared a tribute to Philip alongside a painting of Windsor Castle by JMW Turner.

“We are saddened today as we mourn the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our thoughts are with The Queen and the @Royal Family.”

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Sir David Attenborough paid tribute to Philip in an interview recorded for ITV News before the duke’s death: “I found him an admirable man. He was a man of action of course and with a distinguished record in the Navy and it’s impossible not to think he would have had a very distinguished career in the Navy.

“When he left it he said goodbye to that life of action and I think he missed it. He hated formality, he found it suffocating, and he always did his best to try and break down formality and doing so by being jokey and colloquial.”

Commenting on his decision to retire from public life in 2017, he added: “Everyone has to do that sometime or other. I was sorry he did that, of course, because whilst there are people older than one’s self, you think if they can do it, I can keep going too.

“He was very pragmatic, he made judgments and he didn’t care about convention. If he decided he wasn’t doing the job the way he wished it to be done, he wouldn’t have dragged on, he would resign. Which of course is what he did.”

Sir David added: “There is no doubt that the royals still hold a very important place in British society… royalty in an indefinable way has modernised itself without actually becoming irrelevant and that evolutionary process, Philip played a very important part in.”