The Royal Family have put together a digital condolence book for members of the public to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh after his death at the age of 99 on Friday April 9.
Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip had “passed away peacefully” at Windsor Castle and described the Duke as “the Queen’s beloved husband”, via a statement posted on the Royal Family’s official Twitter account.
Following the announcement, members of the public gathered at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to pay their respects, laying down bouquets, garlands, cards and even bottles of Cognac in tribute.
But, due to public safety concerns over the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the palace has since requested that people not go to properties to lay flowers and instead consider donating to an organization of charity.
The statement read: “The Royal Family is asking members of the public to consider donating to charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of the Duke.”
a online condolence book has also been set up for those who wish to leave a personal message.
âDuring the current public health situation, the condolence books will not be available for the public to sign,â the palace said.
âAn online condolence book is now available on the Royal website for those who wish to send a personal message of condolence. “
Condolence books have a long tradition of being displayed at funerals or vigils so that mourners can write messages of sympathy. They are then given to family members of the deceased to serve as keepsakes.
After the deaths of public figures, condolence books were left in public buildings for people to sign. When Diana, Princess of Wales passed away in 1997, thousands of people lined up to sign the official condolence book which was placed at St. James’s Palace.
The Royal Family’s condolence book for Prince Philip can be signed here.
To complete the book, users must enter their name, email address, and location, along with their condolence message, before previewing their entry and pressing send.
A “selection of messages” will be sent to members of the royal family “and may be kept in the Royal Archives for posterity”.
The Church of England has also opened an online condolence book, with a note on its website saying: “The government has advised that in order to observe current Covid-19 precautions, physical condolence books should not should not be offered at this time. “
The Church of England’s book of condolences for the Duke can be signed here.
Despite requests not to gather to pay their respects to the late Duke, members of the public continued to gather at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to pay their respects.
Flags fly at half mast across the country and gun salutes are scheduled across the UK for noon on Saturday April 10, in honor of the late Duke.
Prince Philip was the oldest husband in British history. He and the Queen have been married for 73 years. The Queen has expressed her “deep sadness” on the occasion of her passing. He died at eight weeks of his 100e birthday.