Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to Crosby and Bootle in 1954. Photo courtesy of Sefton Council

People in Southport will pay their respects to Prince Philip as his funeral takes place today. 

The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest in the Royal Vault beneath St George’s Chapel, Windsor. 

Flags across Southport have been lowered to half mast in tribute, as have flags at all council buildings in Sefton. 

Southport MP Damien Moore said: “My thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family following the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness was dedicated to duty and the service of our country. I will convey to Buckingham Palace my condolences and those of my constituents.”

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr June Burns said: “Sefton Council sends its deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen following the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“We can remember the Duke of Edinburgh fondly and look back at the many occasions he visited our wonderful borough with Her Majesty The Queen. From their early visits to Bootle and Crosby in October 1954, to a stop off in Southport and Altcar Training Camp in 1985; I’m sure so many people will remember these visits to Sefton with great fondness and contentment.

“Whilst national restrictions remain in place we would ask Sefton Residents to stay safe by laying floral tributes at home, or in their own gardens during this time.”

An online book of condolence has been set up at royal.uk

Sefton Council is following palace guidance that rather than flowers, the Royal Family would prefer charity donations to one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s many patronages.

Southport Councillor Sir Ron Watson said: “I had the pleasure of meeting the Duke of Edinburgh on two occasions but the most memorable was on 10 June 2003

“At this time the BSE Beef crisis was at its height and thousands of cattle were being destroyed on a daily basis at a cost to the owners of some £20 million pounds per week

“What was generally not recognised, however, was the impact on the tourism industry which was suffering a £200 million pound a week loss because of restrictions on overseas visitors.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

“Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace for about 200 people from the tourism industry in order to show their support for those who had been badly affected.

“I received an invitation because I was Chairman of the Local Government Association Tourism Executive the LGA is the national body that represents all Councils in England and Wales and therefore had a major part to play in tourism 

“When I arrived there was a lot of security but when checking in I noticed a red sticker attached to my name. 

“I was then ushered into a separate room with about five others including the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingston, and advised by an official in a really splendid uniform that we had all been selected to be personally introduced to the Queen and the Duke and he gave us a short list of dos and don’ts in terms of protocol.

“I remember one lady from the British Tourist Authority so nervous that she could barely speak!

“Both Her Majesty and the Duke were charming and the Duke showed a genuine interest in the hardships being experienced with tourism and he clearly recognised the importance of the industry to the country.

“My memories of this event remain vivid and it was a huge privilege to have been invited.”

Southport Councillor John Pugh said: “The Royal Couple have visited Sefton many times, and I have met Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, but one particular event sticks in my mind. 

“ It was in Bootle Town Hall, I think during the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic.

“The upstairs of the Assembly Room at  Bootle Town Hall was crammed with old soldiers, merchant navy and navy veterans – most expecting no more than a cup of tea and a chat with comrades. 

“The Duke though went unflaggingly round the room talking at length to every single group with genuine interest and enjoyment. It took him way beyond the allotted time but will have been a fond memory and great talking point hereafter for all those Sefton seniors.

The Union Jack flag at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport has been lowered to half mast in honour of Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh

The Union Jack flag at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport has been lowered to half mast in honour of Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh

“The Duke occasionally caused controversy by not hiding his feelings, but this was one of those events where the authenticity of his feelings and the warmth of his approach was both much appreciated and remembered.”

Liverpool Cathedral’s Evensong service this Sunday, 18th April will mark the life of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The service, which is invitation only and starts at 3pm, will be attended by community representatives and political and civic leaders from across Liverpool City Region.

The service will be led by Dean of Liverpool the Very Revd Dr Sue Jones with the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mark Blundell. It will include personal reflections from Dame Lorna Muirhead, who held the role previously. There will be prayers from the Archbishop of Liverpool – the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon – and the Bishop of Liverpool – the Right Reverend Paul Bayes, along with representatives from other Merseyside faith communities each leading a prayer in their own tradition.

Attendees will include the Lord Mayor and Mayors of local boroughs, military and ex-service representatives, organisations including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Royal Mersey Yacht Club, Merseyside Scouts, Boys Brigade and local forces cadets.

The Cathedral is the fifth largest in the world which means there is ample space for the congregation to be safely accommodated and to observe Covid-19 regulations, such as social distancing and the wearing of face coverings.   Well-wishers are asked not to congregate outside the Cathedral – but to watch the service online – via the Cathedral’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgTSAfIhhA0. The service will also be streamed by local authorities across their channels.

Lord Lieutenant, Mark Blundell, said: “The Service of Commemoration is a chance for representatives from communities across Liverpool City Region to come together and remember HRH Prince Philip.

“The Duke was a regular visitor to our area over many years, most recently in 2016 when he accompanied The Queen to the International Festival of Business and the opening of both the new Exhibition Centre and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. “During his decades of devoted public service, he touched the lives of many thousands of people, whether it was accompanying The Queen on engagements or his active involvement in many charities, organisations and causes close to his heart.

“Like Liverpool, he was tremendously proud of his close association with the Armed Forces. “He leaves an incredible legacy, not just as Consort to Her Majesty, but also his work on the groundbreaking Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme which has helped the personal development of so many young people around the country over many decades.”

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

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