Gun salutes at Edinburgh Castle on Saturday to mark death of Philip

Gun salutes marking the death of the Duke of Edinburgh will take place across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea on Saturday.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 9:13 pm
The Union flag flies at half mast over Edinburgh Castle after the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Union flag flies at half mast over Edinburgh Castle after the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in cities including Edinburgh, London, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Gibraltar and from Royal Navy warships, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

Gun salutes have been fired to mark significant national events since as early as at least the 18th century.

They were used to mark the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.

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The public is being encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which will be broadcast online and on television, from home.

In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride out from their base at Napier Lines, Woolwich Barracks, onto the Parade Ground.

There will be 71 horses, 36 of them pulling six 13-pounder field guns dating from the First World War.

The Honourable Artillery Company will fire a salute at the Tower of London, the 104th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire from Cardiff Castle, and the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast and Edinburgh Castle.

Ships taking part include the HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment will join the salute from the British overseas territory.

Philip joined the Royal Navy after leaving school, beginning at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in May 1939, and was singled out as best cadet.

During the Second World War, he served on several ships – firstly on HMS Ramillies – and saw active service against German, Italian and Japanese forces.

In March 1941, he was a searchlight control officer on the battleship HMS Valiant and was mentioned in despatches for his part in the battle of Matapan against the Italian fleet.

Shortly afterwards, he was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.

He rose rapidly through the ranks, earning promotion after promotion

But the Duke stepped down from his active role in the forces to fulfil his duty as the Queen’s consort.

In recognition of his long-standing connection with the Royal Navy, the Queen conferred the title of Lord High Admiral on the Duke to mark his 90th birthday in June 2011.