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Respects paid outside Windsor Castle after death of Duke of Edinburgh

Grace Witherden and David Lee. Photos by Ian Longthorne

Members of the public have been asked not to gather outside Windsor Castle after mourners visited to pay their respects following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Before the announcement was made people gathered at the castle with floral tributes, drawings and letters.

Police and Royal Household staff directed mourners to the Cambridge Gate of the Long Walk where people could pay their respects.

Speaking earlier today in Windsor, Cllr Samantha Rayner, said the Duke ‘always kept Windsor in his heart’ and was invested in the local charities and clubs.

She said he was ‘always lovely’ and recalled memories of him enjoying Windsor Horse Show and attending fundraising events in the Royal Borough.

Councillor Sayonara Luxton said he was always joking and said her favourite memory of the Duke was at a charity dinner at the Guildhall she hosted as Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead.

“I thought he was the funniest person I’ve ever met, he had such a fantastic sense of humour.

“I think he didn’t leave until about 11. He and I had a great time.”

The floral tributes will be moved from the Long Walk and taken to the Royal Family, along with all the cards.

A horse balloon blew in the wind among the flowers, along with drawings from children.

Windsor resident Katie Weeks was with her baby daughter and her mother Lynne.

She said she felt closer to the Royal Family as locals.

Her mum added: “I’m so glad that so many people have come here to pay their respects.”

She said he did so much for young people including setting up the Duke of Edinburgh award and his work for Windsor Great Park.

The Duke was appointed Ranger of the park in 1952 and had worked to make it more accessible to the public and reintroduced deer.

Lynne added: “I sent him a book about 18 months ago about how trees communicate with each other. He must have thought I was crackers.”

But she did receive a letter in response.

Onkar Singh, Mannsi Kaur and Sukhdev Singh paid their respects.

Mannsi said: "I think no matter how much the world changes around us the Royals are always there. 

"They provide this sense of tradition and continuity for the British public. 

"I think now with Prince Philip's passing there is a big shock for the British public but I hope the Queen gets through this and we the British public will stand with her."

The trio added that most people were keeping their distance from each other and social distancing.

Full statement from the Royal Household

The Royal Family have the safety and wellbeing of the public in mind during these challenging times. The Family therefore ask that anyone wishing to express their condolences does so in the safest way possible, and that the public not gather at Royal Residences.

In accordance with public health advice, members of the public are asked to continue to follow the current Government coronavirus guidelines, particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel, to keep themselves and others safe. 

Members of the public may wish to consider making a donation to a charity of their choice, or one of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Patronages in memory of His Royal Highness, instead of leaving floral tributes.

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