His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
It is with great regret that we hear of the death of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our sadness at this time is shared by people across Derby and across the world as we remember with affection and gratitude the lifetime of service given by His Royal Highness.
His Royal Highness first visited Derby in June 1949 accompanying his wife, Princess Elizabeth who officially opened Derby’s Council House the Council’s administrative headquarters. They also toured the Rolls Royce and the Royal Crown Derby factories during their visit.
The couple visited Derby together a further seven times with His Royal Highness making a solo visit in 1964 to officially open the British Rail Engineering Research Laboratories on London Road. His visit included a tour of the Derby Locomotive Works and training school and he was accompanied by Dr Richard Beeching, Chairman of the British Rail Board.
His Royal Highness’ last visit to Derby was in April 2010 to accompany his wife, Queen Elizabeth who visited Derby Cathedral to distribute Maundy Money to Derby residents in a special service. The tradition of the distribution of special Maundy Money dates back to 600AD and commemorates Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper. The service happens each year on the Thursday before Easter Sunday and involves the Queen distributing the money to people in recognition for their contribution to their community and to the church.
Cllr Chris Poulter, Leader of the Derby Conservative Group, Cllr Baggy Shanker, Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Ruth Skelton, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr Alan Graves, Leader of the Reform Derby Group, Cllr Frank Harwood, Mayor of the City of Derby, Cllr Balbir Sandhu, Deputy Mayor of the City of Derby.
Following the announcement of the death, the Union flags above the Council House and in the Sir Peter Hilton Memorial Garden have been lowered to half-mast and will remain in that position until 8am on the day after His Royal Highness’ funeral – Sunday 18 April. Other flagpoles on Council property will remain bare until the period of national mourning ends.
Since Friday evening, the Council House along with the A52 and St. Alkmund’s Way footbridges have been lit up purple as a further mark of respect to His Royal Highness.
Books of Condolence
Members of the public wishing to express their condolences are encouraged to send a message to the Royal Family through the online official Book of Condolence.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, physical books of condolence will not be available, and residents are urged to pay their respects from the safety of their own household in order to minimise travel and social interaction to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Residents who are unable to access the internet may write to Civic Services, Council House, Corporation Street, Derby, DE1 2FS, with their message of condolence. These will be uploaded to the national book in due course. Please note that these messages will not be stored in the local archives.
In line with government guidance following the passing of His Royal Highness, it is recognised there is a need to continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel.
As such, we are supporting the Royal Household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid in public places at this time and that, as mentioned above, people should pay their respects from the safety of their own homes.
Members of the public who wish to make a tribute to His Royal Highness are advised, if they are able to, to make a donation to a charity of their choosing or one of the charities or organisations which His Royal Highness has supported, as suggested by the Royal Household.
Whilst we would encourage as many residents as possible to pay their respects from home, Derby Cathedral is open 10am to 6pm Monday to Thursday and Saturday and 10am to 1pm and 4pm to 8pm on Friday for people to light a candle and pay their respects.
On Friday 16 April at 2.30pm, the Cathedral will be livestreaming a Service of Remembrance, further details of this can be found on the Cathedral website.
Scheduled Meetings and Events
Public meetings will continue to go ahead as scheduled during the period of national mourning, however all Civic engagements have been cancelled.
The Council will review all planned activity during this period to ensure it remains in keeping with the national mood.
Any enquiries to be made to Mayor@derby.gov.uk.