Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison praises Prince Philip in moving speech in Sydney


Scott Morrison has paid tribute to Prince Philip on the morning after his death with a moving speech praising his life of service.

The Queen’s husband died at Windsor Castle on Friday aged 99 after a long illness, with his death confirmed at 9pm AEST.

Flags across Australia are flying at half staff and there will be a 41-gun salute outside Parliament House on Saturday in honour of the late royal.

The prime minister singled out the Duke of Edinburgh’s comfort to survivors of a bushfire in Tasmania in 1967 in his speech from Kiribilli House this morning.

‘As the Governor-General reminded us last night, he visited our country on more than 20 occasion,’ he said.

‘But there were also moments of deep compassion, in particular, in the terrible bushfires of 1967 in Tasmania, where he comforted the victims and he toured the burnt out Cascade Brewery.’

The Queen's husband died at Windsor Castle on Friday aged 99 after a long illness

The Queen’s husband died at Windsor Castle on Friday aged 99 after a long illness

Former Prime Minister John Howard, who was the last PM to greet the Prince to Australia, described his marriage to the Queen as ‘a partnership for the ages’ and paid tribute to his sense of humour.

‘He gave short shrift to political correctness when he encountered it, and that endeared him to millions of people,’ Mr Howard said on Saturday morning. 

‘And so far from those responses constituting gaffes, they were things that people warmed to. He had quite a connection with Australia.’

Mr Morrison extended his sympathies to The Queen and assured her, and the British people, that Australia grieved with them.

‘On behalf of the Australian people, and the Australian government, I extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Her Majesty and the royal family to the passing of the Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh,’ he said. 

‘Your Majesty, here in Australia, and indeed across the world, your Commonwealth family joins in your sorrow and your morning and that of your family. 

‘But also, we give thanks for the life of who you described as your strength and your stay. Your Prince, Prince Philip. Husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.’

Scott Morrison has paid tribute to Prince Philip on the morning after his death with a moving speech praising his life of service

Scott Morrison has paid tribute to Prince Philip on the morning after his death with a moving speech praising his life of service

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2019

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and wife Jenny meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2019

Mr Morrison went on to praise Prince Philip’s charitable commitment as patron of 50 organisations in Australia including the Duke of Edinburgh Award that 775,000 Australians have participated in.

‘The Duke’s life was one of the duty and of service, of loyalty and honour. Memories of him will of course tell stories of his candour, and a unique and forceful and authentic personality,’ he said.

‘But above all, he was a man who was steadfast, who could be relied upon, always standing by his Queen.

‘There are many towering figures that the world has lost and known, but few have been before us in our lifetimes for such a long time. 

‘His presence and service a reassurance, a reminder of the stability we so often need to a world that can be so uncertain.

‘With his passing, we say farewell to another of the greatest generation. The generation that defied tyranny, but one a piece, and built a liberal world order that protects and favours freedom.’ 

Prince Philip accepts flowers from the crowd at the Great Aussie Barbecue in Perth, 2011

Prince Philip accepts flowers from the crowd at the Great Aussie Barbecue in Perth, 2011

Mr Morrison said he felt particularly for the Queen, and asked she let Australia as a nation help her mourn and heal

Mr Morrison said he felt particularly for the Queen, and asked she let Australia as a nation help her mourn and heal

'I am sure her Prince would join me in saying, God save our gracious Queen. Long live our noble Queen. God save our Queen'

‘I am sure her Prince would join me in saying, God save our gracious Queen. Long live our noble Queen. God save our Queen’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison signs a condolence book at Admirality House as wife Jenny looks on behind him

Prime Minister Scott Morrison signs a condolence book at Admirality House as wife Jenny looks on behind him

Mr Morrison said he felt particularly for the Queen, and asked she let Australia as a nation help her mourn and heal.

‘Above all, today, we think of our Queen. While your strength and stay, Your Majesty, may now have passed, Jenny and I pray that you will find great comfort in your faith and your family at this time. 

‘But we also, Your Majesty, say to you as a Commonwealth, let us also now be your strength and stay, as you continue to endure, as you continue to serve so loyally and so faithfully, as you have done over so many generations. 

‘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. 

‘I am sure her Prince would join me in saying, God save our gracious Queen. Long live our noble Queen. God save our Queen.’ 

Mr Morrison said he and Jenny would later on Saturday sign an official condolence book for Prince Philip along with Governor-General David Hurley.

The PM said he would pray for Prince Philip and the royal family on Sunday at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney.

He said Australians could pay their respects via an online condolence book at the official website of the prime minister, or give hard copy letters and condolences to their local MP. 

The Queen and Prince Philip attend an event at the Sydney Opera House in 2006

The Queen and Prince Philip attend an event at the Sydney Opera House in 2006

The prime minister singled out the Duke of Edinburgh 's comfort to survivors of a bushfire in Tasmania in 1967 in his speech from Kiribilli House this morning

The prime minister singled out the Duke of Edinburgh ‘s comfort to survivors of a bushfire in Tasmania in 1967 in his speech from Kiribilli House this morning 

The Queen on Friday announced with 'deep sorrow' the death of her husband

The Queen on Friday announced with ‘deep sorrow’ the death of her husband

Flags across Australia are flying at half staff and there will be a 41-gun salute outside Parliament House on Saturday in honour of the late royal

Flags across Australia are flying at half staff and there will be a 41-gun salute outside Parliament House on Saturday in honour of the late royal

Mr Howard, who met with the Prince on several occasions, including as recently as two years ago, recognised a man who impressed the former PM with his interest in Australia. 

‘Like so many millions of people around the world it was very sad to learn of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and I’d join our Prime Minister in sending deepest condolences to the Queen,’ Mr Howard told reporters on Saturday morning.

‘They were together for, what, 73 years? There aren’t too many people alive today, I think I’m one of them, who was just here at the age of seven, eight, or nine, rather, when they married in 1947. 

‘And of course, through the years, through several generations, three generations, I guess, Prince Philip was always destined to be two or three steps behind, but he did that with extraordinary grace and flair and intelligence. 

‘He combined, if I can put it this way, the obligations of the office, the privilege of serving as the Queen’s consort, with an individual capacity to make his mark.’

Mr Howard said he last saw the Prince at a luncheon at Windsor Castle where he was  honoured by his dedication and interest.   

‘He spoke quite affectionately to my wife of the years he had spent in Australia as a young, the time he spent in Australia as a young naval officer stop so this is an occasion, obviously, of sadness. 

‘But it’s also an occasion to salute and honour a remarkable marriage, a remarkable partnership in service. And two, again, see how valuable, how strengthening, how reassuring that marriage, that partnership has been to the Queen’s role, both as the Queen of Australia and also as the head of the Commonwealth. 

‘I think his easy informality and a just remember that he was always, remarks about how long we had all been around. 

‘He had a very good knowledge of Australian politics. I remember one of his earlier visits when I was a minister in the Fraser Government, and we were at a reception at Government House.

‘He came over to me and to several of my other colleagues, all of whom had to come from Sydney, he said this is the Sydney cabal, is it? I thought this was not bad. He had done his homework, obviously.

‘You don’t know those things by nature. But he took an alert interest and his mannerisms and his demeanour went down well in Australia. 

‘He was a great combination of dignity, tradition, and informality. And it’s quite a tricky balance. 

‘Some try too hard to be informal and they lose their dignity. Others can’t be informal…. He did, to use that wonderful expression of Kipling about princes yet keep the common touch and he did that brilliantly.’

Fellow former Prime Ministers Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott also offered their condolences.

‘I have fond memories of spending time with Prince Philip during his visit to Australia at the time of CHOGM in Perth. While a man of duty, he had a sense of fun,’ Mrs Gillard said.

‘His loss will be mourned by the Queen, his family and millions around the world.’

”He’s lived a long life of duty and service — to the whole Commonwealth but above all to his Queen. Even as we mourn his passing, we should be uplifted by his example,’ Mr Abbott offered. 

‘He combined great character with being a dutiful royal and demonstrated over eight decades that there is no better life than one lived in service to others.’ 

‘It matters not whether Australians are republicans or monarchists, Prince Philip’s passing is a very sad day for the royal family who, like all families, will be grieving deeply the loss of a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather,’ Mr Rudd said. 

‘He was always charming to this republican,’ Mr Turnbull said.

‘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.’ 

Scott Morrison paid tribute to the late Prince Philip on Saturday morning

Scott Morrison paid tribute to the late Prince Philip on Saturday morning

'God bless from all here in Australia ... The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip'

‘God bless from all here in Australia … The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip’

The Queen on Friday announced with ‘deep sorrow’ the death of her husband – who spent his final days at Windsor Castle after a 28-night stay in hospital for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition. 

Her Majesty announced Prince Philip’s death at 9pm on Friday (AEST) as the Union Flag was lowered to half-staff outside Buckingham Palace and on public buildings across the UK and Commonwealth – including Australia.

‘Australians send our love and deepest condolences to her Majesty and all the Royal family,’ Mr Morrison said on Friday evening.

‘God bless from all here in Australia… The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip.’ 

‘For 65 years, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has encouraged over 775,000 young Australians to explore their leadership potential. Forty thousand young Australians are currently participating in the program,’ Mr Morrison said.

Details about Australia’s remembrance of Prince Philip will be announced in the coming days, Mr Morrison said.  

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian also offered her condolences to the Royal Family.

‘The Duke of Edinburgh had a strong and lengthy relationship with NSW, visiting our state many times during his life,’ the premier said.

‘While we mourn his passing at the age of 99, it is the occasion to offer thanks for a very long and dedicated life of service.’

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