Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today expressed New Zealand’s sorrow at the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time. On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Her Majesty and to all the Royal Family.
“Prince Philip will be fondly remembered for the encouragement he gave to so many young New Zealanders through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award. In over fifty years of The Award in New Zealand, thousands of young people have completed life-changing challenges through the programme”.
“New Zealanders will also remember The Duke of Edinburgh’s enormous support for Her Majesty The Queen. His time as royal consort exceeded that of any other royal consort in British history. His Royal Highness accompanied The Queen on her ten visits to New Zealand, the first being in 1953, and the last in 2002,” Jacinda Ardern said.
The Duke of Edinburgh held a number of New Zealand honours and appointments. He was appointed an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand on 4 June 2012 for services to New Zealand, to commemorate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. He was appointed an Extra Companion of the Queen’s Service Order in 1981 (the QSO badge features prominently at the front of his extensive medal bar), and also received the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal. He was made Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy during his solo visit to New Zealand in 1958 on the Royal Yacht Britannia and to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 he was made Field Marshal of the New Zealand Army, and Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
The Duke was a patron or member of over 780 organisations. His New Zealand connections included his role as patron of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, and the New Zealand Society (in the United Kingdom). He was a life member and gold badge award holder of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association, and life member of Aviation New Zealand, and the Tin Hat Club. He was an honorary member of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Veterans’ Association, and the Wellington Club. Additionally, he was an honorary fellow of the New Zealand Institution of Professional Engineers, and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners. He was also involved with a number of Commonwealth associations, such as the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth.
The Prime Minister said that she had directed that flags on all government buildings and naval vessels be flown at half-mast.
The government is awaiting details from the Palace concerning the arrangements for The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral. Following the funeral, a national memorial service will be held in Wellington. More details will follow once arrangements have been confirmed.