Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort to a British sovereign, died Friday morning at Windsor Castle. News of the Duke of Edinburgh's passing was not only shared via the royal family's website and social media accounts but also with an official death notice placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace.
As news of his passing reverberated across the world early Friday morning, staff of the royal household emerged to place a framed plaque with the official death announcement on the front gates of the Palace. The plaque included Queen Elizabeth's statement, released by the Palace earlier that day, confirming her husband's death. The statement reads: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss." The flag at the Palace has also been lowered to half-staff.
As the death notice was posted, throngs of people began to gather at the Palace's gates, many laying flowers to pay tribute to the late royal. Images across social media showed what appeared to be dozens gathered. According to Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills, a second notice "was also placed on the railings of the Palace at Holyrood House." Due to the large number of people gathering, Mills said, "I am being told that will be removed, if it hasn't already, as they don't want to encourage crowds to gather."
"I understand it's very much the wishes of both the Palace and the family that members of the public make sure they don't break Covid restrictions when it comes to marking the death of Prince Philip. It's worth saying that right through the pandemic, the Royal Family have been very conscious of trying to set the right example," Mills said, according to Express UK. "On this deeply upsetting day, and when they will be very realistic that people will want to come out and pay their respects, the guidance and what I understand is there is a keenness to makes sure people don't gather in crowds."
Philip, a former naval officer, married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947, supporting Her Majesty on royal engagements and attending thousands of solo appearances. He also supported several philanthropic endeavors and was associated with around 800 organizations. He retired from public duties in 2017.