Police charge 18 over alleged anti-social bus incidents

Operation Proust has been ongoing for three weeks.

Police Scotland said it has also engaged with over 140 young people to deliver relevant safety messaging. David Cheskin/PA via PA Wire
Police Scotland said it has also engaged with over 140 young people to deliver relevant safety messaging.

Police have charged 18 people in connection with a spree of anti-social behaviour incidents on buses in Edinburgh.

The latest figure comes as a number of vehicles were subjected to damage with large stones thrown at windows over Monday evening, with the force warning such incidents could lead to “serious injury or even death”.

There have been 18 people charged in connection with alleged incidents through Operation Proust, which involves officers working with Lothian Buses to tackle anti-social behaviour.

Chief inspector Sarah Taylor, local area commander for north-west Edinburgh, said: “This is completely senseless behaviour and could lead to serious injury or even death.

“I would ask those who did this, how would you feel if it was your family member sitting at that window that smashed, or your friend driving the vehicle that was hit with a rock?

“This behaviour must stop. We will continue to investigate these incidents and seek to ensure offenders are held accountable for their actions.”

Officers have been patrolling on buses, in vehicles and on foot in the areas said to be affected by the incidents.

Police Scotland said it has also engaged with more than 140 young people to deliver relevant safety messaging.

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Gun salute to be fired in Edinburgh to mark Duke’s death

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round each minute from midday at Edinburgh Castle.

Gordonstoun via Gordonstoun

A gun salute marking the death of Prince Philip will take place at Edinburgh Castle on Saturday.

Across the country, saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in cities including London, Cardiff and Belfast, to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at Windsor Castle on Friday.

The Queen’s husband was the longest serving consort in British history when he died aged 99, a few weeks short of his 100th birthday.

Salutes will also be fired in Gibraltar and from Royal Navy warships, the Ministry of Defence said.

Gun salutes have been fired to mark significant national events since as early as at least the 18th century.

They were used to mark the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.

The public is being encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which will be broadcast online and on television, from home.

In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride out from their base at Napier Lines, Woolwich Barracks, onto the Parade Ground.

There will be 71 horses, 36 of them pulling six 13-pounder field guns dating from the First World War.

The same guns were also fired for Philip’s wedding to the Queen in 1947 and at her Coronation six years later in 1953.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was a constant supporter and ambassador of the armed forces.

“We celebrate his life of service and offer our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family.”

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter said: “His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the armed forces and he will be sorely missed.

“The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the armed forces as a whole.

“A life well lived, His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty. From all of us who serve today and who have served, thank you.”

The Honourable Artillery Company will fire a salute at the Tower of London, the 104th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire from Cardiff Castle, and the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast and Edinburgh Castle.

Ships taking part include the HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment will join the salute from the British overseas territory.

Philip joined the Royal Navy after leaving school, beginning at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in May 1939, and was singled out as best cadet.

During the Second World War, he served on several ships – firstly on HMS Ramillies – and saw active service against German, Italian and Japanese forces.

In March 1941, he was a searchlight control officer on the battleship HMS Valiant and was mentioned in despatches for his part in the battle of Matapan against the Italian fleet.

Shortly afterwards, he was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.

He rose rapidly through the ranks, earning promotion after promotion, with some believing he could have become First Sea Lord – the professional head of the Royal Navy.

But the Duke stepped down from his active role in the forces to fulfil his duty as the Queen’s consort.

In recognition of his long-standing connection with the Royal Navy, the Queen conferred the title of Lord High Admiral on the Duke to mark his 90th birthday in June 2011.

Prince Philip: The Duke’s love affair with Scotland

Even as a young boy, Prince’s Philip’s love of Scotland would shape his life.

Gordonstoun via Gordonstoun
Scotland: Prince Philip had a deep affinity for the country.

Prince Philip’s relationship with Scotland began at a young age, having attended the prestigious boarding school Gordonstoun in Moray for the majority of his education. 

The young royal, born Prince Philip of Greece, was forced to flee his home country with his family when he was just a baby following the Greco-Turkish war.

His uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate and Philip’s father, Prince Andrew, was arrested by the military government in an increasingly volatile country. With the royals’ lives at stake, the family fled to France with the aid of the British Navy, who sent a ship to rescue them. 

The young Prince would leave his home country carried in a fruit box. 

He attended a number of different schools as a child as his family adjusted to life outside of Greece. He studied in Paris and at numerous schools in England, encouraged by his grandmother Victoria Mountbatten, who took a shine to her blond-haired grandson and insisted he be given a proper education. 

A brief stint in England then saw the Prince attend German school Schule Schloss Salem for a more ‘international’ education. Yet the threat of Nazi Germany saw the school’s Jewish founder flee persecution, travelling to Scotland to establish Gordonstoun in Moray, where Philip eventually transferred.

Gordonstoun via Gordonstoun
Prince Philip learning to sail at Hopeman Harbour while studying at Gordonstoun.

At Gordonstoun the young royal found an affinity with sports and was particularly gifted at cricket and hockey, captaining the school teams and becoming head of the school.

His love of sailing, which would eventually lead the young Prince to a career in the Royal Navy, flourished as he enjoyed school trips sailing around the coast of Scotland. 

He left Gordonston in 1939, but it had such a profound effect on him he would later send all three of his sons to the school, Prince Charles the only one to openly dislike his time boarding there. 

He would regularly visit the school in later years, most recently in 2014 to mark Gordonstoun’s 80th anniversary. He insisted on joining students in the queue for lunch, rather than taking a seat and having it brought to him, despite being in his 90s.

Gordonstoun via Gordonstoun
Prince Philip returned to Gordonstoun many times throughout the years.

Joining the Navy shortly after leaving school, the 18-year-old Prince began corresponding with the young Princess Elizabeth, his third cousin whom he had met some five years prior. He would rise the ranks in the navy and go on to serve in the Second World War. 

The Prince’s relationship with Elizabeth blossomed and he was granted permission by Elizabeth’s father King George VI to marry her upon her 21st birthday. He gave up his Greek and Danish titles to become a naturalised British citizen and took the name Philip Mountbatten from his mother’s side of the family. 

The young couple’s engagement was announced in July 1947 and a few days later, they travelled to Edinburgh with the rest of the royal family, staying at Holyrood Palace. 

Amongst other meetings, they attended a ball at the city’s Assembly Rooms to celebrate their upcoming wedding some five months later. 

In the hours before their marriage on November 20, the King granted Philip the title Duke of Edinburgh, of which he would be granted the freedom of the city in 1949.

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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip on their wedding day in 1947.

He would later lend his title to one of the Prince’s biggest success stories – the Duke of Edinburgh Award. 

Established in 1956, it was inspired by the Moray Badge created by Dr Kurt Hahn, the founder of Gordonstoun, with the intention of giving boys a sense of responsibility. Girls were able to join the scheme in 1958.

The award became one of the most recognisable personal challenges for young people to undertake and the Duke would personally attend the scheme’s award ceremonies, presenting his 500th gold award in 2013 at St James’s Palace. 

More than six million people have undertaken the Duke of Edinburgh Award in the UK since its inception, with more than 130 countries participating in the international award across the globe.

Balmoral Castle, the Royal family’s Scottish retreat, became a firm favourite with the Princess and Duke and they regularly took their young children Prince Charles and Princess Anne, and later Princes Andrew and Edward, for holidays along with their much-loved dogs. 

The Duke was often photographed wearing a kilt whilst in Scotland, his sons also wearing the traditional Scottish dress. The family often wore the Balmoral tartan whilst in Scotland, which is only permitted to be worn by the royals. 

Upon the King’s death in 1952, he became his wife’s royal consort as she was crowned Queen Elizabeth II.

Chris Jackson via Getty Images
The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attend the Braemar Gathering in 2006.

Their love of Scotland continued and he would regularly accompany the Queen to the Braemar Gathering, a historic Highland event near the Balmoral Estate which has been held in the area for more than 900 years.

After her ascension to the throne, the Queen became the patron of the games and attended every year from 1952 onwards, often accompanied by the Duke and on occasion their children. The Queen and Duke were often pictured laughing and joking whilst watching the games and traditionally, they attended church at the nearby Crathie Kirk the day after. 

As he continued to support his wife throughout her reign, Prince Philip served as patron to more than 800 organisations. He was appointed Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh in 1953 and served in the role for almost 60 years, taking a keen interest in scientific development, conferring honorary degrees and often showing interest in ongoing research work undertaken by staff and students at the university.

He retired from the role in 2010 and was succeeded by his daughter The Princess Royal. 

Prince Philip took a keen interest in Scottish architecture and accompanied the Queen to open the Forth Road Bridge in 1964, becoming the first people to cross the link between Fife and Edinburgh. 

Jane Barlow via Getty Images
Prince Philip and the Queen attended the opening of the Queensferry Crossing in 2017.

Some 50 years later he would make a private visit to see the construction of the Queensferry Crossing, a new bridge designed to ease the pressure on the existing road bridge, at the age of 95. Along with the Queen, they became the first people to cross the new bridge after officially opening it in 2017. 

As the Prince entered his tenth decade, he scaled back his public engagements, passing numerous patronages of charities on to other members of the family, surmising that he had ‘done his bit’. In 2017, he retired from royal duties.

He was an avid painter and cartoonist and many of his works are hung in royal palaces around the UK, including Balmoral. 

The Prince’s health began to show signs of strain in 2008 when he was admitted to hospital with a chest infection. Over the next decade, he was hospitalised for numerous complaints, including a stint at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary after falling ill at Balmoral.

However, he walked out of the hospital five days later, thanking medical staff and joking with nurses to ‘behave themselves’. He returned to the royal Scottish residence to rest, waved off by staff and patients who congregated to wish him well.

He would continue to visit Balmoral with the Queen despite his health issues and in 2020, made his final journey to the royal residence in August.

It would be the last summer retreat the Queen and Prince Philip would spend together after more than 70 years of marriage.

Prince Philip was the longest-lived male member of the British royal family and the world’s longest-serving consort.

‘Let me travel abroad for life-changing treatment’

Emma Pratt says current coronavirus restrictions are stopping her from accessing stem cell treatment abroad.

STV News

Emma Pratt was a fit and healthy 25-year-old, when she suddenly lost her sight. 

Doctors quickly diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, a lifelong condition that affects the brain and nerves. 

Emma’s sight returned but she has been left with permanent disabilities that affect her everyday life.

Despite worsening symptoms, she doesn’t meet the criteria to receive stem cell treatment in Scotland, even though it could slow the progression of her condition. 

Instead, Emma is looking to have treatment abroad but is prevented from travelling due to the pandemic.

“The flights are booked because, regardless of the rules, I know I have to do this now,” she says. “So we will figure it out, but it’s the unknown which makes it very scary. 

“Because of Covid, I haven’t been able to do bric-a-brac sales and ask people to run marathons for me [to raise money]. Literally asking for people’s help has been the only thing we’ve been able to do.”

It has now been ten years since her diagnosis, but Emma has found it impossible to come to terms with.

“I don’t think it ever really sets in,” she says. “I live every day as it comes because I don’t know how my symptoms are going to be.

“Even the simple things like pushing [my son Rory] on a swing and taking him for a walk and running races in the garden and hours of hide and seek… 

“Those are the things that a three-year-old wants to do with mummy, and it’s hard to not be able to do those things.”

STV News
David Balmer is currently unable to access MND treatment in Mexico.

Fundraising is something 41-year-old David Balmer is also finding difficult.

The father-of-two was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019 and now struggles to speak, so his sister Lynsay helps to communicate his thoughts.

“There was one drug offered that gives you, well so they say, an extra three months on top of your diagnosis,” she says. He said ‘no way’, we weren’t accepting that.”

Despite many obstacles, David made it to Mexico last October for experimental stem cell treatment.

“It was totally beneficial, it was worth it,” says Lynsay. “And he’s now needing to go back for follow-up treatment, but it’s causing more difficulties and more problems again. 

“Time is something that we don’t really have, you need to do things quickly.”

Raising funds for the treatment has also been made difficult for David, but he’s not giving up hope.

Lynsay says: “He’s saying without his family and the people behind him that he wouldn’t be here, but he’s very strong.”

There are exemptions to the current travel and quarantine restrictions, but David and Emma don’t meet the criteria. They feel this needs to change.

The Scottish Government said: “We understand the difficulties faced with those who are dealing with health issues, but to manage the risk of importing new variants and to give vaccine deployment the best chance of bringing us closer to normality these limits on international travel are necessary.

“There is a provision that an exemption can be granted to a person whom Scottish ministers consider requires exceptional arrangements to be made on compassionate grounds. 

“It would be preferable for all concerned if any such exemption were applied for and confirmed or denied in advance of travel, to remove uncertainty.”

What happens next following Duke of Edinburgh’s death?

Prince Philip's ceremonial royal funeral and burial are expected to take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

STV News
The Duke of Edinburgh died on Saturday aged 99.

The Duke of Edinburgh has died. What happens next?

There will be no lying in state and no state funeral for Philip, in accordance with his wishes.

His ceremonial royal funeral and burial are expected to take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

But the coronavirus pandemic – with the ban on mass gatherings and England in national lockdown – means the exact plans for the aftermath of Philip’s death have had to change, with public elements removed to prevent crowds gathering.

Flags are already flying at half mast on UK Government buildings in tribute to the duke and will do so until the morning after his funeral.

Members of the public have been asked not to gather at royal residences nor to leave floral tributes – but to donate to charity instead.

– The funeral

The details of Philip’s televised funeral are expected to be officially announced this weekend, with Buckingham Palace aides having to consider how it should be handled during the worst public health crisis for generations.

The Queen has final approval over the plans – codenamed Forth Bridge – and will be considering the amended arrangements.

The date has yet to be confirmed, but originally, the funeral was due to be staged eight days after Philip’s death, which would be April 17 – just four days before the Queen’s 95th birthday on April 21.

The duke’s children and older grandchildren were likely to have walked through the streets behind the coffin, similar to the processions for the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Queen Mother – but anything with the potential to draw a crowd will no longer take place.

The Lord Chamberlain, Baron Parker of Minsmere, will oversee the long-held master plan and the days leading up to it, with the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, headed by the Queen’s Comptroller, setting in motion the carefully orchestrated programme of events.

Philip helped draw up the original details himself and was determined there should be a minimum of fuss.

Behind the scenes, aides and household staff will be busy putting the plans in place.

– The guest list

Only 30 people – in addition to the clergy – will be allowed to attend Philip’s funeral.

It was originally planned for 800 guests, but will now have to take into account the strict limit on numbers during the pandemic.

The Queen will have to decide which family members to invite.

The Duke of Sussex is likely to travel back from the US to attend.

Gun salutes

Gun salutes marking Philip’s death will take place across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea on Saturday.

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Gibraltar and from Royal Navy warships, the Ministry of Defence said.

– Royal Family’s Mourning

The Queen also has to decide whether the royal family will enter Court Mourning – dressing in black and using black-edged writing paper – or the alternative, shorter Family Mourning – dressing in black – and how long this will last.

Some official engagements may continue, but social engagements – most on hold anyway because of the pandemic – are usually cancelled after the death of a senior member of the royal family unless in aid of charity.

Family Mourning for the Queen Mother in 2002 lasted three weeks.

– National Mourning

The Government decides on the length of any National Mourning, which usually lasts until the day after the funeral.

A nationwide two-minute silence could take place, as it did for the Queen Mother on the day of her funeral.

– Parliament

Parliament is being recalled from its Easter recess to allow MPs and peers to pay tribute to the duke.

Downing Street and parliamentary officials confirmed the move to reconvene the House of Commons on Monday, a day earlier than scheduled.

The House of Commons is expected to meet from 2.30pm on Monday.

– Queen may address the nation

The Queen may record a televised speech in tribute to her husband, just as she did for the Queen Mother in 2002, but it will depend on how she is feeling.

The rest of Philip’s family are likely to release their own statements about the royal patriarch in the coming days.

The royal family’s website is honouring the duke with memorial pages.

– Online book of condolence

An online book of condolence has been opened on the royal family’s official website instead of traditional books for people to sign around the country because of the pandemic.

– Television and media

TV channels scrapped their schedules to make way for an evening of tributes, and news of Philip’s death made headlines around the world.

Scores of broadcasters gathered near Buckingham Palace to report on developments.

The funeral is expected to be televised live by the BBC and other broadcasters.

– Coffin at rest

Traditionally, the duke’s coffin would have been moved to the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace to remain at rest for several days, but at present it remains at Windsor Castle.

It is unlikely to be moved away from Windsor for fear of drawing crowds.

The Queen retreated to Windsor for the lockdown period so events will undoubtedly be focused there instead.

The monarch and the royal family will pay their respects in private, as will household staff.

Philip’s children are likely to hold a private vigil at some stage around the coffin if restrictions permit.

– Behind the scenes

The duke’s funeral was due to have a strong military presence in recognition of his naval career and his links with the armed forces.

But the prospect of creating a spectacle that could potentially attract hundreds of thousands of people means there is no longer expected to be a military procession in London or any processions through Windsor.

A military involvement is expected to take place within the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Those servicemen and women taking part will rapidly begin their preparations, from practising routines to polishing helmets and swords.

Royal dressers will be fastidiously choosing and preparing black mourning ensembles.

Thames Valley Police will be tasked with dealing with the security needed in the days ahead, and preventing mass gatherings.

– Lying in state

The duke’s coffin will not lie in state.

This has long been reported as the plan but, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has the added benefit of freeing the Government and the royal household from a series of logistical nightmares.

The Queen Mother – the last sovereign’s consort to die – lay in state in Westminster Hall, allowing hundreds of thousands of people, who queued for hours, to file past to pay their respects.

But Philip always insisted he did not want this honour.

– Burial

The duke is expected to be buried in the Royal Vault in St George’s Chapel on the same day as the funeral.

This interment service will be private, attended by the Queen and senior members of the royal family.

– No memorial service

In accordance with Philip’s wishes, there will be no official memorial service.

This might change, however, because of the scaled-back funeral – but only with the Queen’s agreement.

Obituary: Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II has died at Windsor Castle aged 99.

Yui Mok - WPA Pool via Getty Images

As a life goes, it was extraordinary. At the side of the sovereign for 70 years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was a constant in the national story and a reminder of the enduring nature of monarchy through decades of war, political upheaval and revolutionary changes in culture and lifestyle in the country he came to know as home.

He was born on June 10, 1921 in a continent scared by the war which alas did not end all wars. Corfu was his birthplace and his lineage boasted connections to the Greek and Danish Royal families. His family were exiled from Greece following the events of the Greco-Turkish war between 1919 and 1922. His uncle King Constantine I was forced to abdicate and his father Prince Andrew was arrested.

The family settled in Paris, where Philip was educated firstly at an American school before continuing his education in England and Germany and eventually at Gordonstoun in Moray. The weather was no doubt as austere as the educational experience with its emphasis on physical and mental endurance as well as learning and the young Prince loved the place, cemented by a love of sailing around the Scottish coast.

Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh enjoying a walk during their honeymoon at Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire.

If the aftermath of the first war led to a nomadic existence, the Second World War would anchor him in the British military and pave the way for the relationship which would define his life.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1939 after leaving school but his military service was not at all cosseted by his privileged upbringing and he saw action at the Battle of Crete and the Battle of Capa Manata in 1941. During the allied invasion of Sicily in 1943, as second-in-command of HMS Wallace, he saved his ship from a night bomber attack by distracting the airplanes with a raft of smoke planes.

Around this time he dated Princess Elizabeth, who would later become Queen. Philip relinquished his Green and Danish titles and became a naturalised British citizen. Taking the name Philip Mountbatten he became engaged to the future monarch in July of 1947. They were married on November 20 that year.

The Princess was smitten by Philip who cut a dashing figure. Any opportunities not to be burdened by the constraints of duty and public service were relatively short lived. The Princess ascended to the throne at the age of 25 after the death of her father George VI.

Queen Elizabeth was the Head of State of a country still living with the economic consequences of war. The times were harsher for the British people and the Royals occupied a position marked by near universal deference in a socially conservative society where class distinction underpinned many of the social mores.

Philip would be the Queen’s constant companion where he had a ringside seat at some of the defining moments of the 20th century from the end of empire and the embrace of the Commonwealth to the contraction of British military strength and a mid- century gravitation to the idea of the UK as part of a wider trend towards greater European cooperation.

Getty Images via Getty Images
Coronation Day.

And of course he would have met world leaders and heads of state and been close to Prime Ministers starting with Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.

He did however carve a role for himself against the initial instincts of a palace old guard who perhaps regarded tradition and protocol as immovable and unchangeable anchors of monarchy.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was launched in 1956 and has helped several million young people across 144 nations. He became patron of the industrial society in 1952 and was the first president of the World Wide Fund for Nature in 1961. He paradoxically had a lifelong passion both for hunting and for the preservation of endangered species.

At that time it was central to the mystique of monarchy that is was seen to be a symbol of nationhood. The key members of the Royal household lent an air of dignity to the idea of country as one extended family but they remained aloof from the experiences of their subjects.

The advent of a mass media made Philip something of a celebrity. By the late 1950s however the old certainties were under attack and the age of knowing one’s place came to an end. It marked a period when the hitherto unthinkable happened: the behaviour of the Royal’s was not above scrutiny or criticism.

This change led to occasional castigation for Philip after repeated cases of foot in mouth. At Kenya’s independence ceremony in 1963 he was moved to ask Jomo Kenyata ‘Are you sure you want to go through with this?’

Fox Photos via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arriving at the Manoel Theatre in Valleta, Malta, 1967.

In Canada in 1969, cutting a ribbon, he memorably said, ‘I declare this thing open, whatever it is’. In Oban in 1995 he asked a driving instructor ‘How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?’

Some of this could be filed under banter or even risqué teasing. Some of his utterances drew little sympathy with references which were plainly racist. His supporters did however regard him as a victim of changing attitudes buttressed by a heavy thump of political correctness.

In his time as the Queen’s consort, Philip became the patron of more than 780 organisations. He was also at era defining moments: the 1966 World Cup Final, the opening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 and the London Olympics opening ceremony in 2012.

Hulton Archive via Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip with their baby son, Prince Edward on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, during the Trooping of the Colour, London, on June 13, 1964.

To celebrate his 90th birthday the Queen appointed him Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy, the highest title in the organisation. And on their 70th wedding anniversary on November 20 2017, the British monarch also named him Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order for ‘services to the sovereign’.

What is beyond dispute is the strength that the Queen has drawn from their long marriage and by his support in the execution of her duties. His embrace of public engagements lasted into his 90s in a show of stamina and service the envy of many a younger man.

SNS via SNS Group
Prince Philip is introduced to (l-r) Danny McGrain, Gordon McQueen, Kenny Dalglish and Joe Jordon before Scotland beat England 2-1 at Wembley in 1977.

The end of an era is one of the most over used and abused phrases upon death. In a sense his passing is the end of several eras for his was a life marked initially by the horrors of war and which traversed monumental societal change.

And through it all, despite acute crises, the institution of monarchy managed somehow to remain relevant. By being a source of encouragement, strength and love to the Queen, he played his part in the enduring of a very British institution.

Tributes from around the world after Duke of Edinburgh’s death

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, passed away on Friday morning at Windsor Castle.

Hulton Archive via Getty Images

The Duke of Edinburgh has died at the age of 99.

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, passed away on Friday morning at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace announced.

The Duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

Following the announcement of his death, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am saddened by news that the Duke of Edinburgh has died.

“I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.”

Speaking from a podium in Downing Street, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

“With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.

“We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.

“Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her ‘strength and stay’, of more than 70 years.

“And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today.

“Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.”

Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
Honeymoon: The couple were married for more than 70 years.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said: “On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

“Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly.

“From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye — Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family.

“The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the armed forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more.

“His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped.

“Jill and I are keeping the Queen and to Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time.”

Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, praised the Duke for his service to “his country and the Commonwealth”.

He added: “Prince Philip was no stranger to Australia, having visited our country on more than 20 occasions.

“Through his service to the Commonwealth he presided as patron or president of nearly 50 organisations in Australia. Given his own service, Prince Philip also had a strong connection with the Australian Defence Force.

“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.

“Australians send our love and deepest condolences to her Majesty and all the Royal family. The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia.”

Former US president Barack Obama tweeted: “Through his extraordinary example, His Royal Highness Prince Philip proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater.

“Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family, and the British people.”

Russian leader Vladimir Putin also conveyed his condolences.

“Many important events in the contemporary history of your country are connected with the name of His Royal Highness,” Putin said in a statement.

“He has rightfully enjoyed the respect of the British nation as well as international recognition.”

A Kremlin statement said Putin “wished Queen Elizabeth II fortitude and resilience in the face of this severe and irreparable loss and requested that his sincere condolences be passed to all the members of the royal family”.

French president Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “I wish to express my sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Family and the British people upon the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip who lived an exemplary life defined by bravery, a sense of duty and commitment to the youth and the environment.”

Nicholas Soames, a former Conservative MP and the grandson of wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill, tweeted: “The death of Prince Philip marks the passing of a truly remarkable man who lived a life of impeccable and dedicated service to his Queen and Country.”

The British Army also tweeted its condolences.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, paid tribute to the Duke’s “extraordinary life of dedicated service”.

He added: “On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special.

“The legacy he leaves is enormous.”

Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin posted on Twitter: “Saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time.”

Jane Barlow via Getty Images
Queensferry Crossing: Prince Philip with The Queen and Nicola Sturgeon at the bridge’s opening in 2017.

Mark Drakeford, First minister of Wales, also offered his condolences.

He said: “It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

“Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.

“He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as patron or president over many decades of service.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also paid her respects, tweeting: “I am saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip.

“I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on this very sad day.”

STV News
Scottish Parliament: Flags at half-mast in tribute to the Duke.

The Union Jack flag at Buckingham Palace was at half-mast on Friday, while a framed plaque announcing Philip’s death was placed on the front gates by royal household staff.

The notice remained on the gates for around an hour before being taken down, and some people laid flowers.

Flags will fly at half-mast on UK Government buildings in tribute to the Duke from now until the morning after his funeral.

Guidance was issued by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the flying of official flags.

All such flags, which include Union flags and any national flag, are to be “half-masted on all UK Government buildings as soon as possible on Friday until 8am on the day following the funeral”, the department said.

It advises that any non-official flags, which include for example the rainbow flag or Armed Forces flag, should be taken down and replaced with a Union flag flying at half-mast.

The department said devolved administrations would issue instructions “for the flying of the Union flag and other official flags on buildings in their estate and others as necessary”.

Scottish Parliament presiding officer Ken Macintosh expressed his condolences on Twitter, as he ordered the flags outside Holyrood to fly at half-mast.

He later confirmed that the Scottish Parliament will be recalled on Monday so that members can pay their respects to the Duke, who “extended his friendship and support to the parliament from the outset”.

STV News
Aberdeenshire: Tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh.

In tribute, Police Scotland’s chief constable Iain Livingstone said: “It is with great sadness that we have today learned of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness spent many days in Scotland, particularly at Balmoral, and met many people at functions in Aberdeenshire and across Scotland.

“Whether at the side of Her Majesty The Queen or making his own visits to organisations, his interest in and support of those who serve Scotland and our communities was clear to everyone.

“We will be taking time to pay our respects over the coming days.”

STV News
Balmoral: People paying their respects.

The minister of the church used by the Royal Family when at Balmoral Castle expressed the community’s sadness at the Duke’s death.

Reverend Kenneth MacKenzie, minister of the Parish of Braemar and Crathie and domestic chaplain to the Queen, said: “Everybody has favourite memories of the Duke, he was just a very interesting man and took a real interest in this area.

“He knew a lot of people and a lot of families who have multi-generational interest in this area, so some folk he knew not just their parents but grandparents.

“Everyone will remember him with respect but also a degree of affection, he was really highly thought of around here.”

The reverend admitted the Covid-19 pandemic had caused “difficult times for everybody” including the Royal Family.

However, he added: “Until very recently the Duke was going out and about when he would come up.

“Through the late summer and the autumn he would be getting around the estate and take an interest on what was going on.

“He’s known to be someone who was sharp-witted and very funny but he was a thinking man and had a lot of ideas about how best to look after this part of the world, it’s a beautiful area.

“He was part of that family for all those years and it was such a dutiful role that he played that he was as involved in this community in some ways as almost anybody else and that family’s been involved for many generations in this place.

“A lot of what goes on around here is testimony to some of his thinking.”

Rangers said the football club was “saddened by the passing of Prince Philip”.

Posting on Twitter, the club added: “Our deepest sympathies go to Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Hibs also paid tribute, highlighting the Duke’s “wonderful affinity” with Edinburgh.

The club added: “Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and all the Royal Family.”

A spokesperson for Hearts FC said: “Everyone at Heart of Midlothian Football Club is saddened by the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

“We extend our sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this difficult time.”

The makers of royal drama The Crown said they were “deeply saddened” over the Duke’s death.

Philip was played by Doctor Who star Matt Smith in the first two series of the lavish Netflix series, opposite Claire Foy as the Queen.

He was replaced by Outlander actor Tobias Menzies for series three and four, opposite Olivia Colman as the Queen.

The first series followed the earlier days of the relationship between the Queen and Philip, while the second series dramatised tensions in the marriage.

Later episodes showed his interest in and passion for space travel.

A statement from the show, written by Peter Morgan, said: “Netflix, Left Bank Pictures, Sony Pictures Television and the production team on The Crown are deeply saddened to hear of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time.”

Oscar nominee Jonathan Pryce will take over the role of the Duke of Edinburgh for the fifth and six series of the show, which will be the last.

He will star opposite Imelda Staunton as the Queen.

STV News
Glasgow City Chambers: The Union Jack has been lowered to half-mast.

European royal families have also paid tribute.

The Dutch royal family offered its “heartfelt sympathy” to the Queen.

The official Twitter account of the Royal House of the Netherlands posted a message from King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix.

They said: “It is with great respect that we remember His Royal Highness Prince Philip.

“Throughout his long life, he committed himself with dedication to the British people and to his many duties and responsibilities.

“His lively personality never ceased to leave an unforgettable impression.

“Our deepest and most heartfelt sympathy goes out to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and all the members of the Royal Family.”

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said in a statement that Philip remained “an inspiration to us all”.

He said: “The Queen and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

“Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued.

“His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen, the royal family and the people of the United Kingdom.”

The Belgian Royal Palace said it was “deeply saddened” by Philip’s death, tweeting a tribute along with photos of the family with Philip.

“Deeply saddened by the passing away of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace said.

“We wish to express our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, the British Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom.

“Philippe and Mathilde.”

The Duke of Edinburgh was Braemar Mountain Rescue Team’s long-standing patron since 1966.

In a statement, the team said: “He always took a keen interest in our work and was generous with his time and support.

“We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.”

Chief officer Martin Blunden from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: “It is with profound sadness that we have today learned of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the  Duke of Edinburgh, and our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this time.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s website has since been transformed into a memorial page to the Duke of Edinburgh.

A short message on archewell.com says: “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021, thank you for your service… you will be greatly missed.”

Duke of Edinburgh will not have a state funeral

Prince Philip will instead 'lie in rest' at Windsor Castle ahead of his funeral at St George’s Chapel.

Topical Press Agency via Getty Images
Royal: The Duke of Edinburgh will not have a state funeral.

The Duke of Edinburgh will not have a state funeral, the College of Arms has confirmed.

Prince Philip will instead “lie in rest” at Windsor Castle ahead of his funeral at St George’s Chapel.

The Duke, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, died peacefully on Friday morning at the age of 99.

It is yet to be announced when the funeral will take place.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, members of the public are being urged not to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral.

In a statement, the College of Arms said: “The funeral will not be a state funeral and will not be preceded by a lying-in-state.

“His Royal Highness’ body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral in St George’s Chapel. This is in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’ wishes.

“The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral.”

STV News
Scottish Parliament: Flags have been lowered to half-mast at Holyrood.

It was also announced on Friday that all flags will fly at half-mast on UK Government buildings in tribute to the Duke from now until the morning after his funeral.

All such flags, which include Union flags and any national flag, are to be “half-masted on all UK Government buildings as soon as possible on Friday until 8am on the day following the funeral”, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said.

It advises that any non-official flags, which include for example the rainbow flag or Armed Forces flag, should be taken down and replaced with a Union flag flying at half-mast.

The governments of the Commonwealth Realms, British Overseas Territories and Dependencies will follow the same flag protocol.

The only exception is when The Queen is present within a building or its precincts, at which time the Royal Standard will be flown at full mast.

The department said devolved administrations would issue instructions “for the flying of the Union flag and other official flags on buildings in their estate and others as necessary”.

Earlier on Friday, Scottish Parliament presiding officer Ken Macintosh expressed his condolences on Twitter, as he ordered the flags outside Holyrood to fly at half-mast.

Man guilty of 1984 murder after DNA breakthrough

Graham McGill was out on day release from prison when he brutally killed Mary McLaughlin in her Glasgow.

Police Scotland

A rapist has been convicted of murdering a mother in her Glasgow home more than 36 years ago after being caught by a DNA breakthrough.

Graham McGill was out on day release from prison when he brutally murdered mum-of-11 Mary McLaughlin in her home by strangling her.

McGill followed the 58-year-old home, got into her flat and viciously killed her by strangling her with the cord from her dressing gown.

Her body was found six days later when her son Martin Cullen went to visit. Mary was lying on her back on her bed wearing a green dress and with the ligature tightly wound her neck three times.

Police Scotland
Graham McGill convicted of murder (Police Scotland)

On Friday, at the High Court in Glasgow, 59-year-old McGill was finally brought to justice after more than 36 years and is now facing a life sentence.

He was convicted of assaulting Mary by strangling her with a ligature and murdering her on September 26 or 27, 1984, at her flat in Crathie Court, Patrick, Glasgow.

The jury deleted an assault on Mary with intent to rape from the charge. Judge Lord Burns told McGill: “I have to pronounce a sentence of life imprisonment and will do so in due course.”

Lord Burns told the jurors: “It has been a distressing and difficult case.”

McGill, from Glasgow, will be sentenced on May 18, at the High Court in Aberdeen, when he will be told how long he must serve before being eligible for parole.

Prosecutor Alex Prentice QC revealed that at the time of Mary’s murder, McGill, who worked as a fabricator, was out on day release from prison where he was serving a six-year sentence for assault with intent to ravish and rape imposed in 1981.

He said: “It was during parole liberation that he carried out the murder of Mary McLaughlin. He was 22 at the time.”

The court was told that members of Mary’s family have written letters to the court expressing their grief.

Mr Prentice said: “The pain and sense of loss suffered by them has been prolonged.”

The prosecutor told the court that McGill was also jailed for life in 1999 for a brutal assault with intent to ravish and was out on licence from that when he was arrested and charged with murder on December 4, 2019.

The jurors heard that in 1984 a major investigation was launched but no one was ever charged with murder.

Over the years police and scientists battled to find out who Mary’s killer was and a number of cold case probes were launched.

McGill was finally caught thanks to the dedication and determination of two forensic scientists Dr Nighean Stevenson and Joanne Cochrane.

They looked at new ways to extract the killer’s DNA from the ligature that was tightly wrapped three times round her neck and knotted twice.

The problem was the material had deteriorated badly over time although techniques in obtaining DNA had reached what Ms Cochrane described as “the gold standard.”

They discovered that although one of the two knots on the cord had been untied and tested, the other had not been touched since Mary’s body was found in her home on October 2, 1984.

This double knot was carefully opened in a slow, methodical way and photographs taken at every stage.

When the fabric inside the knot was tested the scientists found Mary’s DNA and also the DNA of McGill.

Ms Cochrane said: “The SPA Forensic Services Cold Case Review Team carried out a full forensic review of this case which identified a number of items for further DNA analysis using the very latest technologies available.

“This analysis resulted in finding DNA attributable to Graham McGill on several items, including a cigarette end, the ligature around Mary McLaughlin’s neck, and on the dress she had been wearing.”

In 1988, McGill boasted to his wife of killing Mary. McGill confessed to his ex-wife Suzanne Russell that he had just wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone and said he was shocked how long it took to actually murder Mary.

As he was led away in handcuffs, McGill showed no emotion. He gave no evidence during the trial, but denied he was the killer.


UEFA confirm Euro 2020 games will go ahead with fans at Hampden

The European governing body has issued an update on this summer's tournament.

Craig Williamson via SNS Group
Hampden will be open to 12,000 fans for each of its four games.

UEFA has given the green light for Hampden to continue as a host venue for Euro 2020, with plans for 12,000 supporters given their approval.

Scotland’s national stadium was chosen as one of a number of venues for the pan-European competition, which was postponed last year because of the pandemic.

With the tournament now just two months away, UEFA had asked all host nations for indications of how many fans expected to be able to admit in June.

The Scottish FA and Glasgow Life submitted detailed plans which had been put together with the Scottish Government, with plans for 25% of the capacity of Hampden to be used.

UEFA has now confirmed games will go ahead at eight cities, including Glasgow, with fans in attendance.

It has asked for further information and plans from Munich, Bilbao, Rome and Dublin, where no clear assurances could be given.

Scotland will play two group games in Glasgow after qualifying for their first major tournament in 23 years. Steve Clarke’s team will play Czech Republic on June 14 and host Croatia eight days later.


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