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Prince Philip Dead at Age 99. Aired 12-12:15a ET

Aired April 10, 2021 - 00:00   ET




MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hello, everyone. Welcome to CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Michael Holmes.

The loss of Prince Philip resonating across the United Kingdom and the world, after his death at the age of 99. The husband and companion to Queen Elizabeth died on Friday at Windsor Castle. He had been an ever- present figure for decades. And he is being remembered for helping usher the British royal family into the modern age.


HOLMES (voice-over): Bells sounding at Westminster Abbey on Friday. Gun salutes will be fired across the U.K. at noon local time in his honor. Many have been paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace, despite the public being urged not to gather or lay flowers due to COVID restrictions.


HOLMES: CNN's Max Foster has more now on Prince Philip's lasting impact.


BORIS JOHNSON, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: It was with great sadness that, a short time ago, I received word from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away at the age of 99.

Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Tributes pouring in from all over the globe for the Duke of Edinburgh, the longest serving consort in U.K. history.

Dutifully by the queen's side for more than 70 years, a descendant of Queen Victoria, Philip was born into Greek and Danish Royalty. But he renounced those titles in 1947 when he married then Princess Elizabeth and took British citizenship. By then, already a decorated naval World War II veteran. KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: He fought so bravely on the allied side and saved many, many men from German bombs on the ships. He was a brave and determined and devoted man in the navy. And I think that was when he completely excelled and it was really very difficult for him to give that up.

FOSTER (voice-over): Philip solidifying a royal love story for the ages, taking a back seat publicly, at least, to his wife, the queen.

ROBERT HARDMAN, ROYAL BIOGRAPHER: His number one job from the word go has been to quote support the queen, everything he does is in support of the queen. It's just been one of the great royal romances I think of history.

FOSTER (voice-over): His devotion and duty on display whilst in private, a commanding presence as patriarch of the royal family.

And whilst always at the queen's side, finding his own stride, a renowned environmentalist, long before it was publicly fashionable. He served as head of the WWF and was president of some 800 other charities, attending some 22,000 events on his own, before his official retirement in 2017 at the age of 96.

With news of his passing on Friday, mourners arrived at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to pay their respects to the beloved royal consort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he embodies everything about the country really. And I think he's just a real kind of royal consort.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This morning I was in tears and, you know, it's just a sudden, you know, news about him.

FOSTER (voice-over): And whilst the pandemic will prevent a large scale public ceremony to remember Prince Philip and the days to come. The legacy he leaves is everlasting.

JOHNSON: Her Majesty said that our country owed her husband a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know.


HOLMES: Now we know that Prince Philip's funeral will be held at Windsor Castle and that it won't be a state funeral. Isa Soares is joining me now with from Windsor with more.

You've been out there for hours and hours now. Tell us the scene as people have been coming by, honoring Prince Philip.

What have they been telling you?

ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Michael. What is incredibly moving in fact, yesterday, just a few hours after his death was announced here at Windsor Castle, there was a somber silence as I arrived yesterday. And people then started, mourners started pouring in, paying their respects. [00:05:00]

SOARES: Leaving flowers although they were asked not to do so because of COVID-19. But people felt it was important to come here, Michael, and pay their respects.

I kept hearing time and time again that he was a dutiful and honorable man, who was always there. That is what I heard throughout the day. He was always by her side or just a few steps behind her. And I think people took that away, a man who had given up so much of his career.

Because, remember, he was a naval officer, as Max just mentioned in that report, and he gave up his titles in order to be a dutiful husband. So a man who served the country for years and a man who clearly loved his wife, 73 years of marriage.

And I think you will see today, Michael, a flood, I think, of people coming in this Saturday, to pay their respects. Of course, many people said to me they were shocked to hear of his passing but not surprised.

It was only three weeks ago, if you remember, we saw those images of him, that were so frail and fragile, as he left the hospital. Actually, I remember telling my husband, this may be the last time we see the Duke of Edinburgh. But, incredibly, a somber mood. And I think, today, we will see more of the same, Michael.

HOLMES: Yes, those images leaving the hospital, he did look incredibly frail. Funeral plans have specific protocols, of course, but are affected by COVID.

What can we expect in the days ahead?

SOARES: Look, this -- funeral plans normally go months and months, even years, in fact, in terms of being planned. But I think much of it is being thrown out of the window because of COVID-19 restrictions, as you said.

He will not lie in state, there will not be a state funeral. He was also the sort of man, he wanted no fuss, really. He was very matter of fact. And he didn't want so much attention drawn to him. And it was not about him.

So it will be interesting to see if he will we will wait to hear from the queen, as to what exactly they have planned out. It will be hard to actually see Windsor Castle not surrounded by people as they try to pay their respects.

But also bear in mind, the funerals here in the U.K., because of COVID restrictions, you can't have more than 30 people. So who exactly will come to Windsor Castle, St. George's Chapel, where the funeral will be held, to pay their respects. Many of members will probably have to wear face coverings, keep a 2 meter distance. So that will be interesting.

Before I leave you, Michael, I want to give you a sense though, of how the press here are remembering the Duke of Edinburgh. I've got a couple of newspapers here to show you and our viewers around the world.

If we can start with the "Daily Mirror," that says, "Goodbye, My Beloved."

Interesting, speaking to many people yesterday, many of them said to me, I feel for the queen, her sorrow, her pain today, the woman who stood by him throughout. She has lost love, the love of her life.

One woman in particular said to me, I worry for the queen's health and what this may do to the queen. So I thought that was incredibly moving.

"The Sun" newspaper, "We are all weeping with you, ma'am," exactly on that point.

I leave you with the "Daily Telegraph," an article, an op-ed by Charles Moore (ph), who says, "The outsider who became Britain's most loyal servant," Michael.

HOLMES: Absolutely. Isa, thanks so much, early in the morning there where you are at Windsor Castle, Isa Soares.

Around the world, tributes are being paid to Prince Philip.

The U.S. president said, quote, "Prince Philip's legacy will live on not only through his family but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped. Jill and I are keeping the queen, Prince Philip's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the people of the United Kingdom in our hearts during this time."

While in a moving tribute, the former Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, referred to a trip by the royal couple to the island nation, where they had once been newlyweds.

Saying, "Farewell, Prince Philip, always charming to this republican but never more so than at Malta 2015, when he relived his young life with his young wife, not yet a queen. He spoke of love, adventure, eyes sparkling. He banished time. And we could see how he won Elizabeth's heart."

Will Ripley is following the global reaction from Hong Kong.

Of course, the royal family, not just the royal family of Great Britain but of the Commonwealth as well, dozens of nations.

What's been the reaction among those nations?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, 54 countries in the Commonwealth. I mean, the impact of Prince Philip, just extraordinary.


RIPLEY: You have countries here in Asia, Africa and the Americas, Europe and the Pacific, a whole family of nations who are mourning the prince. We've seen flags lowered all over the world, messages of deep

condolence from many need world leaders. But a lot who have actually interacted with the queen and the duke are thinking of her today, thinking of the bond that they witnessed.

They met so many people in their travels throughout the world. They probably didn't remember most of the people but they all remember meeting the queen and the duke, which makes this message from the Australian prime minister especially poignant.


SCOTT MORRISON, AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: She has been there for us over such a long time. Let us be there now for you, Your Majesty, and allow us to send our love to you on this, I am sure, one of your most sad of days.


RIPLEY: The queen remains the head of state for 16 countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada on the list there. And so, that was her prime minister speaking personally.

And I think that the moving tributes are a sign of just how much an impact Prince Philip had. As he traveled the world, 99 years old, visited 143 countries, including Vanuatu in the Southwest Pacific back in 1974.

He never made it to this one particular island in the archipelago Tanna, but there's a tribe there, that worshiped Prince Philip as a god. They believe that the duke descended from their ancestors. And they have been praying for decades for him to return to their village, because they believed he would bring prosperity.

He never did make it there. Prince Charles did Tanna visit in 2018. So there are some who are watching this tribe, wondering if their worship will now extend to Prince Charles. But the tributes from small countries, from big countries, the emotion is shared, Michael. People are sad and their thoughts are really with the queen at this sad hour for her.

HOLMES: All right. Will Ripley there in Hong Kong. Appreciate, it Will.

Now the La Soufriere volcano on St. Vincent island in the Caribbean is now actively erupting. Scientists say it could continue for weeks to come. The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center says there were at least three explosive events on Friday, sending huge plumes of ash and smoke into the air.

The column of ash has gone about four kilometers up into the atmosphere. Parts of the island covered in smoke, as you can see there. Thousands of people in the eruption zone ordered to evacuate. So far, no reports of injuries or property damage.

I'm Michael Holmes, I'll see you back here in about 45 minutes. "MARKETPLACE AFRICA" up next.