Scottish Parliament pays tribute to ‘spirited and energetic’ Duke of Edinburgh

PA Scotland Reporters
·2-min read

The Duke of Edinburgh led a life of distinction, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said, as MSPs in the Scottish Parliament paid tribute to Philip’s “extraordinary life” and extended its sympathies to the Queen.

The Scottish Parliament was recalled for only the sixth time in its history on Monday morning to show respect to the duke.

MSPs stood for a minute’s silence before party leaders spoke about Philip’s accomplishment’s and service as they considered a Motion of Condolence.

Duke of Edinburgh in Scottish Parliament
The Duke of Edinburgh in the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament building to mark its official opening (PA)

Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: “The tributes paid to the Duke of Edinburgh over these last few days show the affection in which he was held here in Scotland, across the United Kingdom and, indeed, around the world.

“On behalf of the people of Scotland I express my deepest sympathy Her Majesty The Queen, who is grieving the loss of her strength and stay, her husband and also to the Duke’s children and to the wider Royal Family.”

Before he became the Queen’s consort, the First Minister said, Prince Philip had already “endured difficulties and faced dangers that generations since can barely comprehend” during his war service.

She said the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were a “true partnership”.

“He faced the additional challenge of being the husband of a powerful woman at a time when that was even more of an exception than it is today,” Ms Sturgeon said.

“That reversal of the more traditional dynamic was highly unusual in the 1940s, 50s and 60s and even now isn’t as common as it might be.

“Yet, the Duke of Edinburgh was devoted to supporting the Queen – they were a true partnership.”

The First Minister also said the role of consort to the Queen “cannot be an easy one, particularly for someone who is spirited and energetic by temperament”.

The Scottish Parliament has only previously been recalled on five occasions: on January 4 to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic; for the death of first minister Donald Dewar; the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother; for a ministerial statement on the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi; and on December 30 last year for a Brexit debate.

Holyrood’s first presiding officer Lord Steel earlier told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that Philip was “a great supporter of our parliament”.

He said: “I think [recalling parliament is] quite right and I think everybody wanted to be able to say goodbye to him in a proper way.”

Scotland’s political parties had earlier suspended campaigning for the May election after Philip’s death.