It is with deep sadness that we have learnt earlier today of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Our sadness will be shared across all of Gibraltar and the rest of the United Kingdom.
It is a sadness that will extend to all of the Overseas Territories.
It will extend also right across the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.
The Duke of Edinburgh has been greatly respected throughout the world for his life of dedicated service to the United Kingdom.
He will also be remembered for his constant, steadfast support to Her Majesty the Queen throughout their lives together.
In that role, as husband and Consort to our Queen, he has been a hugely important part of the hierarchy of our nation’s Government.
Prince Philip always had an interest in Gibraltar.
He was here in November of 1950 when he officially inaugurated our then Legislative Council.
He visited again, with Her Majesty the Queen, in 1954 on their tour of the Commonwealth.
The Duke also visited on a number of other occasions.
In 1957, he personally berthed the Royal Yacht Britannia alongside in our Dockyard on the final stop of his Antarctic Adventure.
On that visit, he remained on the Rock for 10 days.
Additionally, his Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme touched the lives of many young people in Gibraltar and around the world.
And in 1991 he personally piloted the aircraft on which he flew into Gibraltar Airport when he visited us to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his Award Scheme.
He was also the Admiral of the Royal Gibraltar Yacht Club.
And, of course, as Commandant General of the Royal Marines, he routinely wore the cap badge of that Corps that carries the word Gibraltar so prominently.
Every time I had the privilege of meeting him, here and in London, he recounted positive recollections of his many times on the Rock.
The last time I spoke to the Duke, he was keen to ask after the fortunes of our People and had fond words of recollection of the Convent, where he stayed on his visits to Gibraltar.
Prince Philip was always a great supporter of Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians.
When he was here in 1950, he spoke of his support for the establishment of our institutions of self-government.
Today, as soon as the proclamation of the Duke’s death had been made at Buckingham Palace, we lowered the flags of our official buildings.
Our flags will remain at half-mast until the day after the Duke’s funeral.
Tomorrow, Gibraltar will join with the rest of the British family of nations in a gun salute.
The guns will be fired by the men and women of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.
I have written to Her Majesty the Queen to offer the deepest condolences of Her Government of Gibraltar and the People of Gibraltar to Her Majesty of course and to all the members of our Royal Family at this sad time.
May Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Rest in Peace and may God Save the Queen.