Fitting and dignified tribute to a "life of dedication and duty" as Leeds joins the world to watch the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral service

Leaders in Leeds have paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh following his funeral which has been called "beautiful and dignified" while adhering to COVID rules and regulations.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 4:45 pm

Millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the build up and the service itself which was held at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

At 3pm, just before the service started, a minute's silence was held across the nation and was observed in Leeds with staff and shoppers pausing for a moment at Trinity Leeds, players at football games lining up for a minute's silence before kick off and players of cricket matches breaking off to also pay their respects.

There were moments of reflection also observed in the city centre as a lone man paused near the cenotaph outside Leeds Art Gallery and a couple took time out at Leeds Town Hall.

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A photo and candle tribute in Leeds Minster following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

On Friday, a civic service in remembrance of Philip was recorded at Leeds Minster and then made available to stream on Leeds City Council's YouTube Channel.

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"Of course, over the last year, so many of us have contended with the pain of losing loved ones and, like the Royal Family this weekend, we have been forced to pay our respects in difficult circumstances under necessary but demanding restrictions. Saturday's service offered us all the opportunity to acknowledge our shared experiences of loss and grief and through that solidarity to be inspired with hope for the future."

The Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson was also involved in the recording and shared a memory with the Yorkshire Evening Post of when he met the Duke of Edinburgh while he was carrying out what was his last visit to West Yorkshire to open the West Yorkshire Police training centre at Carr Gate in Wakefield.

Staff at Trinity Leeds pause for a minute's silence on Saturday.

He said: "On that occasion it was a long line-up greeting him. He had a twinkle in his eye and a light-hearted comment for each of us. It was the most beautiful and moving service we could have imagined, all the more poignant that it took place during COVID but all the more poignant that he had such a big part in designing the service.

"Legacy? He will leave our memories of him and his amazing life of dedication and duty. Charities, including many in our region, will have benefited from his work and will be encouraged to continue as part of his legacy. Also, The Duke of Edinburgh award in which literally millions of young people have benefited in this country, and now it runs in 140 countries internationally, that I think will be his legacy."

The country has been in national mourning from his death on April 9 until and including the day of the funeral. Union flags were flown at half-mast on royal residences, government buildings, armed forces establishments and at UK posts overseas during the week.

Imam Qari Asim from Makkah Mosque Leeds also recalled meeting Philip and his desire to promote inter-faith dialogue.

A man observes the minute's silence near the cenotaph in Leeds City Centre.

Mr Asim said: "I have had the pleasure of meeting HRH Prince Philip. I found him considerate, interesting, and knowledgeable about other religions. He promoted interfaith dialogue and urged greater understanding between communities for the common good.

"Philip lived a long and remarkable life with a deep commitment to public service. From serving in World War II, to providing unwavering support to Queen and country, Philip exemplified quiet reserve, loyalty, fortitude and integrity.

"He championed many charitable causes, in particular those concerning young people and the environment. Philip leaves behind a fitting reminder of his incredible work in the form of the #DukeOfEdinburghAwards, that have impacted, shaped and inspired millions of young people. His memory invites us to redirect ourselves to the values to which he devoted his remarkable life."

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A civic service in remembrance of Prince Philip being recorded at Leeds Minster with Rev Sam Corley, Rector of Leeds, Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ed Anderson, The Lord Mayor of Leeds Eileen Taylor and the Leader of Leeds City Council James Lewis. Picture Tony Johnson
Rev Sam Corley, Rector of Leeds.