Midlothian tributes to Duke of Edinburgh

Midlothian’s Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col Richard Callander LVO, OBE, TD, has led local tributes to The Duke of Edinburgh.

Monday, 12th April 2021, 6:00 am
Stock photo by Lisa Ferguson 04/07/2017.

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh had died at the age of 99.

Midlothian’s Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col Richard Callander said: “It is with great sadness, that we learn of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Although we mourn the loss of such a prominent individual in British society, it is right to reflect, and celebrate, his long life, the hallmarks of which have been dedication and service to our country.

"He led an extraordinary and demanding life, in which he championed more than 780 charitable organisations, throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.”

The Duke of Edinburgh made two notable official visits to Midlothian – in June 1961, when he accompanied Her Majesty the Queen on a royal tour of Midlothian and in September 2015, for the official opening of the Borders Railway.

Mr Callander added: “On that occasion, many local people turned out to greet the Royal party and I had the privilege of introducing him to a number of local residents at Newtongrange Station. I know that he thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.”

Amongst his many successful achievements, he will be remembered for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Since it was launched in 1956, hundreds of young people in Midlothian have taken part in the Scheme and their lives have been enriched through the experience.

"Many local winners of the Gold Award, received it in person from the Duke at the Palace of Holyroodhouse,” added Mr Callander.

"The scheme continues to thrive and will form part of a wonderful legacy from a truly remarkable life.

“As the Queen’s representative in Midlothian, I will be sending a message of condolence to Her Majesty the Queen, and to the Royal Family, on behalf of the people of Midlothian.”

Provost of Midlothian Peter Smaill said: “On behalf of the people of Midlothian, I’d like to offer our sincere condolences to the Royal family after the death of HRH Prince Philip.

“I’m sure we will all take some comfort on reflecting on the last occasion Prince Philip visited Midlothian on 9 September 2015.

“He and the Queen travelled by steam train to Newtongrange to unveil a plaque marking the opening of Newtongrange Station on the Borders Railway line.

“It was an historic and joyful event, made all the more memorable as it fell on the same day the Queen became Britain's longest-serving monarch.

“More than a thousand local people lined the platform and bridge to give the Queen and Prince Philip a warm, Midlothian welcome.

“Everyone who was there will remember how Her Majesty and Prince Philip took time to speak to local people and to share the excitement of that momentous day.

“It was a great honour to welcome the Queen and Prince Philip and we are pleased our memories of his last visit are filled with warmth.”

Chief Executive of Midlothian Council Grace Vickers said: “As a mark of respect following the death of HRH Prince Philip, the flag will be flown at half-mast at Midlothian House, Dalkeith.

“Because of the current coronavirus restrictions, it is not possible to open books of condolence in public buildings. Instead, local people who wish to can express their condolences online at www.midlothian.gov.uk/condolence.”