The opening of Vale of Leven Hospital in Alexandria by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Philip looks on as the Queen signs the Visitors’ Book in Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, with Provost and Mrs J MacLeod Williamson and Town Chamberlain Philip Mill in attendance.

By Bill Heaney

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.

The couple had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Soon after the announcement flags were flying at half mast over HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane where Prince Philip has been a visitor over a long number of years.

HMS Montrose, a frequent visitor to Faslane, will pay a 41 gun salute to Prince Philip today (Saturday) in the Gulf, where it is currently on duty.

He was also a member of an exclusive yacht club which meets infrequently and has its headquarters at the Royal Northern Yacht Club in Rhu.

The Mudhook Yacht Club was founded in 1873 by six friends going off for a weekend on one of the group’s steam yacht. They were in Boag’s Inn at Fairlie on the Firth of Clyde and having a quick one before going aboard while waiting for some of the others to appear. As they were a bit dissatisfied with the clubs around the Clyde they decided to form a yacht club of their own.

This club was to be something special with the main aim being “to encourage Corinthian yachting” and not “to give expensive races for professional skippers steering their employers’ yachts”.

They quickly adopted a constitution that included limiting the membership to forty members and held a regatta limited to helmsmen who were members of a recognised yacht club that was within fifty miles of Carrick Castle, another of their favourite watering holes on the Firth of Clyde.

The constitution was subsequently changed to ‘forty and one forbye’ as, on a count, the Secretary had forgotten to count himself into the total. Thereafter the Club took a very active part in the Clyde racing scene. It was particularly noted for only giving two prizes in any race but both prizes were of a very high quality.

Since 1933 the Club has supported the participation of young people in racing keelboats by starting what was to become the annual Schools and Club Junior Regatta – in its heyday, a five day regatta series based on the Gareloch.

As with the Prince’s Trust, Prince Philip did much to help and encourage young people – men and women – to take up sailing for sport.

This was started in 6 Metres then with the addition of the local Gareloch O.D. class. The 6 Metres were subsequently replaced by Dragon and Piper class yachts. Over the years all these yachts were lent by their owners to enable this regatta to take place.

The increase in the many and varied ways that young people could get into sailing, coupled with the increase in Health and Safety and Childcare legislation, became an overwhelming burden and resulted in this series of races being stopped in 2005.

The Club continues to look at any opportunities to run suitable events for young sailors. See the Trust page for additional information on support available.

From 2006 to 2016 the Club hosted the IRC Scottish Championship which was successful in attracting a significant proportion of the local IRC boats to attend.

Despite being 145 years old the Club maintains the “Corinthian” ethos and the traditions of its founding and transient members.

Campaigning for the Scottish Parliament elections has been suspended as a mark of respect to the Queen’s husband.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “This marks the end of an outstanding life of 99 years and decades of outstanding public service too.  Often colourful, sometimes controversial but always dedicated to his wife, The Queen, and to his country.

“The Duke of Edinburgh scheme in particular will be a specific legacy that will endure for years. It enriched the lives of young people which has a worth before any monetary value.

“My two sons benefited from it and it helped to make them what they are today. Prince Philip’s death marks the end of a great life, well lived. Out of respect we will suspend our campaign.”

Commenting on the sad news that HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh has died, Jackie Baillie said:  “This is very sad news and all of my condolences go to HRH The Queen and the whole of the Royal Family.

“Prince Philip was an extraordinary public servant who dedicated his life to serving his country. After 73 years of marriage this will be a huge loss to the Queen.

“As a mark of respect, I will be suspending my Scottish Parliamentary campaign.”

Nicola Sturgeon says the thoughts of the people of Scotland are with the Royal Family following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

He officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to Prince Philip, she said: “I am saddened by news that the Duke of Edinburgh has died.

“I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of @scotgov and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.”

A message from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair:

“The death of the Duke of Edinburgh marks the end of an era in the life of our nation. Prince Philip’s naval service to our country in time of war, and his enormous service to the nation afterwards, and his support of many organisations and charities in industry, education, conservation and sport have been an example to many.

“Throughout his long life, Prince Philip has shown how privilege ought to be marked by service. In his dedicated and distinctive way, he has shown our nation what this looks like, and what kind of difference it can make.

“The inception of the Duke of Edinburgh Award to recognise significant leadership and community service in the lives of young people has inspired generations to look to ways to make a difference in communities and the wider world. The award has transformed the lives of many young people, giving a sense of confidence and self-worth through achievement and hard work.

“The Duke’s constant support for Her Majesty the Queen as her consort throughout their marriage has been unswerving. He was, in the Queen’s own words, “her constant strength and guide”.

“The Church of Scotland shares in the nation’s sense of loss at this time, and gives thanks for the Duke’s life. We offer our prayers and sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the members of the Royal Family.”

Following the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Administrator of the Archdiocese of Glasgow has written a letter of condolence to the Queen assuring her of prayers on this sad occasion.
Your Majesty,
On behalf of the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, I write to assure you of our prayers for the gentle repose of your beloved husband. May his soul rest in peace.
Our prayers, too, for Your Majesty, your family, and all who mourn the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh; may you experience the hope and consolation which we find in our shared faith in the Risen Lord.
With my deep respect, prayers and best wishes,
Monsignor Hugh Bradley
Archdiocesan Administrator, Sede vacante
Meanwhile the Holy Father Francis has also sent a message of condolence.
Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin wrote in a telegram addressed to Queen Elizabeth. “Recalling Prince Philip’s devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service and his commitment to the education and advancement of future generations, His Holiness commends him to the merciful love of Christ our redeemer.
“Upon you and upon all who grieve his loss in the sure hope of the resurrection, the Holy Father invokes the Lord’s blessings of consolation and peace,” he concluded.

Top picture: Prince Philip and the Queen on a Diamond Jubilee visit to the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in Clydebank, where they were greeted by Sister Rita Dawson, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in Dumbarton and Helensburgh and meeting local people.

HRH Prince PhilipLocal tributes have been paid in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll today to His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, following his death, aged 99.

News of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death  was announced by Buckingham Palace today, marking the beginning of an eight day period of national mourning.

The Duke visited West Dunbartonshire in July 2012 when he accompanied Her Majesty the Queen on a UK tour to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, meeting patients and staff at the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in Clydebank .

The picture at the top of the page is on that visit when he met residents and staff with the matron, Sister Rita Dawson and Professor Leo Martin, chairperson of the board of directors.

On behalf of the Lieutenancy of Dunbartonshire, The Lord-Lieutenant Mrs Jill Young MBE, said today: “I would like to send my sincere and deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family on the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

“His visits to our County have been many and varied over the years and along with a lifetime of dedication and selfless devotion and service to the Crown and the Country he leaves a legacy, which is widely respected and deeply appreciated.”

West Dunbartonshire’s Provost, SNP councillor William Hendrie, added: “We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

“On behalf of the people of West Dunbartonshire, I send my condolences and deepest sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen and the rest of the Royal family.

“We will now mark his passing and honour his service to the nation by flying Union Jack flags at half mast.”

In line with national guidance, the Union Jack will fly at half mast from council buildings. 

Bill Heaney, editor of The Dumbarton Democrat, said: “I have been covering Royal Visits in Dunbartonshire for more than half a century and Prince Philip accompanied the Queen on most of them.
“I remember coming out of school with the rest of my class to watch the Queen receive the keys to Dumbarton Castle.

“Later I covered the launch of the QE2 at John Brown’s and the opening of the Erskine Bridge by Princess Anne, who also opened the Meadow Centre in Dumbarton.

“I had lunch with the Queen and Prince Philip and Princes Anne on board the Maid of the Loch before Her Majesty formally opened the Ross Priory water pumping station.

“Prince Philip took a back seat most of the time, but he was an interested listener about the history of the loch and Dunbartonshire.

The Municipal Buildings in Dumbarton, which the Queen and Prince Philip came to visit.

“On another visit, he came to the Municipal Buildings in Dumbarton where he was greeted on an extremely warm day by the Provost and Bailies of Dumbarton before going inside to sign a framed photograph of himself and the Queen, which still hangs on the wall there..

“The councillors were wearing their finest clothes, which were covered by heavy velvet cloaks with ermine collars.

And they had the added burden of heavy gold chains of office hanging around their necks and were sweating uncomfortably having had to wait around for the royal party to arrive.

“Prince Philip cottoned on immediately and brought smiles and laughter when he asked: “Are you chaps warm enough?”

The Duke had an excellent sense of humour. Professor Leo Martin says the Duke asked him the most difficult question he has ever had to field: “How are the Rangers doing?”

Prince Philip was always appropriately and immaculately dressed, but when he turned up to to tour Westclox on the Vale of Leven industrial estate with managing director John Santos, he was wearing a paid of brogues which had seen better days. They were falling apart.

One sharp-eyed reporter spotted this and got his photographer to take a few pictures of the shoes which appeared in the press the next morning.

He was often portrayed as unapproachable and distant and most definitely not a people person, but he was caring and had his feet firmly on the floor, even if it was richly carpeted.

His problem, if you can call it a problem, is that he did not suffer fools gladly.

Prince Philip, who liked football and actually played it in the Navy  receives a name check in the song written on the occasion of the Coronation Cup when Celtic met Hibernian at Hampden Park 70 years ago.

Professor Leo Martin recalls that in a Diamond Jubilee visit with the Queen to the St Margaret of Scotland Hospice in Clydebank, the Prince asked him how he thought the Rangers were getting on.

Prince Philip also accompanied the Queen to the opening of the County Buildings at Garshake in Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven Hospital, which was the first new hospital to be built in Scotland after the Second World War.

The Queen being greeted by the Matron at the opening of Vale of Leven Hospital while the Hospital Secretary James Campbell and Cllr Matthew Bissett look on.

If you would like to leave a tribute to Prince Philip, you can contribute to our online book of condolence using the form below.

Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in Corfu on 10 June 1921, married Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. On the morning of their wedding, he was created the Duke of Edinburgh and was formally made a British Prince in 1957.

His Royal Highness retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed more than 22,200 solo engagements since 1952.

He remained Patron, President or Member of around 30 Edinburgh-based organisations, including: the Universities of Edinburgh and Heriot Watt, the Royal Botanical and Zoological Societies of Scotland, the National Galleries, Royal British Legion and the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and Enterprise.

He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest ever male member of the British royal family.

Two local men were chaplains to the Queen. Sir John Cairns, formerly minister at Riverside Parish Church in Dumbarton, and the Very Rev John Chalmers, formerly minister to Renton Trinity Church in Renton.

Both men later were appointed Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and Mr Chalmers Chalmers was appointed Clerk to the General Assembly.

A national book of condolence has also been opened, and you can leave tributes in it.

Valeman John Rannie, managing director of John Brown’s shipyard in Clydebank, and the Queen at the launch of the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth II.

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