TRIBUTES to the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on April 9, have been flowing in all week at the Convent’s Book of Condolence.

It followed an emotive tribute from Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who spoke of the special connection the Queen’s husband had with Gibraltar.

Ministers Joseph Garcia and John Cortes recently signed the book located at the Governor’s Residence themselves.

Picardo said ‘Prince Philip always had an interest in Gibraltar’ and this had led to many visits.

“He was here in November of 1950 when he officially inaugurated our then Legislative Council,” said the Chief Minister.

“He visited again, with Her Majesty the Queen, in 1954 on their tour of the Commonwealth.

“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.”

One of the more long-term impacts of Prince Philip was the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme for young people.

Gibraltar supporter

In 1991, he personally piloted his own plane into Gibraltar to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the scheme.

“Every time I had the privilege of meeting him, here and in London, he recounted positive recollections of his many times on the Rock,” said Picardo.

“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.”

Flags of offical buildings were at half mast when his death was announced.

The Royal Gibraltar Regiment then fired a gun salute on April 10.

The Chief Minister wrote to the royal family to express his sadness at the death of the man who would have been a century old in June.

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