Photograph: Wikimedia Commons/Steve Punter.

Local tributes are being paid to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died at Windsor Castle today at the age of 99.

Flags are being flown at half-mast at the Town Hall, with a book of condolence to be opened online soon for residents to be able to sign.

The Duke most recently visited Hackney in 2012, when as patron of charity London Youth he visited Hackney Quest and Laburnum Boat Club at the age of 90, where he is reported to have joined in narrow boating despite difficult conditions and his own recent health problems.

A multitude of students will have taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in the borough, with the Hackney Chinese Community School paying tribute to the benefit its students gained from studying Chinese as an additional language. 

The Church of England has also opened a book of condolence for the Duke, with the Hackney Church “giving thanks for the extraordinary life, work and service of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and we pray today for the Queen and the Royal Family as they mourn.”

The Duke was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years and was the longest-serving consort in British history. 

Leading councillors across the borough were sending condolences over the passing of the Duke today, with a joint statement from Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville and Speaker Cllr Kam Adams saying: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Prince Philip. 

“He served our country for many years, including in the Royal Navy during World War 2, and lived a life of relentless royal duty, immersing himself wholeheartedly in national life. 

“He was the most energetic member of the royal family with, for many decades, the busiest engagements diary.

“From the outset he took a keen interest in young people through the Duke of Edinburgh award, which he launched in 1956, inspired by his school days. In January we recognised the deep connection between these awards and Hackney’s young people at a virtual ceremony, where our latest group of young people received their Bronze Awards.

“The Duke came to embody endurance and stability for our country: through decades of change and stability; through times of peace and crisis.

“We all felt we knew Prince Philip in some way. That sense of familiarity and steadiness was especially important over these past twelve months, as the country continues to battle the greatest challenge of a generation. And the Duke’s death will be felt all the more keenly as a result. 

“On behalf of Hackney, we send our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal family.”

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