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Charles and Camilla view flowers left in memory of Philip

Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent
·3-min read

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have made their first joint public appearance since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh to see flowers left in his memory.

Charles and Camilla made an emotional visit to Marlborough House – the home of the Commonwealth – in central London, where floral tributes laid at the gates of Buckingham Palace are brought each evening.

The heir to the throne and his wife were pictured stopping to look at the bouquets of flowers left by those wanting to honour the duke.

Items left in tribute include a model of a Land Rover similar to the one that will bear Philip’s coffin on Saturday, with the words “The Duke R.I.P” on the roof.

Next to it, a card from “Marian & Marum” read: “Your memory will never fade. Rest in Peace.”

Another read: “Words cannot even begin to express our sorrow. You are in our prayers.”

Philip tribute
A model Land Rover was left among the tributes (Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA)

One card said: “HRH A True Gentleman. Thank you for your devoted service to our country. We shall miss you.”

Some notes were written for the Queen: “Sending our love and condolences on the loss of your beloved Prince Philip, yours always, love Layla, Lis and Neil xxxx.”

One card quoted the monarch’s famous comment about her husband: “We are so sorry for your profound loss, Your Majesty’s ‘strength and stay’ will endure in our hearts always.”

Duke of Edinburgh death
Charles and Camilla stopped to look at some of the floral tributes (Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA)

Meanwhile, the Earl of Wessex has thanked holders and participants of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and the International Award, for sharing their memories of his father and their experiences of the scheme.

Edward said about Philip: “He may have departed this world, but his spirit and ethos lives on through his award, through each and every life touched, transformed, inspired; then, now and in the future.”

In a tribute at the weekend, Charles described his late father as a “very special person”, and praised him for giving “the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country” for the last 70 years.

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Many floral tributes have been left to the duke (Ben Stansall/PA)

The public had been asked not to lay flowers to prevent any possible breach of Covid guidelines and instead were asked to consider a donation to a charity they support or one that Philip represented, but many have still decided to leave bouquets.

To avoid them becoming a spectacle that might attract a crowd, the tributes have been gathered up and brought to Marlborough House, the headquarters of the Commonwealth and the seat of its Secretariat, just off The Mall.

It was a fitting place for the flowers to be kept given Philip’s long association with the ‘family of nations’.

Duke of Edinburgh death
Notes and artwork left by members of the public outside Buckingham Palace in memory of Philip. Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard

During his many years of public duty and service he undertook more than 220 solo visits to Commonwealth countries between 1949 and 2016, with many more alongside the Queen.

As preparations for the funeral continue it has emerged members of the royal family will now not wear military uniform during the service.

It is understood the Queen has decided that senior royals attending should be in civilian clothing.

The move means the Duke of Sussex will not have to face being one of the only close family members who is not in uniform on Saturday after he lost his honorary military titles after deciding to step down as a senior working royal.