British Jews Express Sorrow at Death of Prince Philip, Husband of Queen Elizabeth II, at Age of 99
British Jews were in mourning on Friday following the death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, at the age of 99.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died on Friday morning at Windsor Castle, one of the British Royal Family’s many residences around the country. In March, he was released from a month-long stay in hospital following surgery for a pre-existing heart condition.
British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis paid tribute to the “selfless and loyal public figure,” who offered his “steadfast support to The Queen” and “exceptional service to our nation”.
Rabbi Mirvis said he had been “deeply moved” by Prince Philip’s “extraordinary sense of duty” as displayed in past personal conversations with the royal.
The chief rabbi also noted Prince Philip’s “interaction with, and affection for, the Jewish community in the UK and his connection with Israel, where his mother is buried and which he visited in 1994.”
Philip’s mother — Princess Alice von Battenberg, who was married to Prince Andrew of Greece — was posthumously honored in 1993 as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem, for hiding a Greek Jewish family from the Nazis.
Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl said Philip’s life had been spent “in public service.”
She praised “his active duty in the Navy during the Second World War” and the “tens of thousands of engagements which he carried out over six and a half decades of royal duties.”
Israeli leaders also expressed their sadness at Philip’s passing. In a post on Twitter, President Reuven Rivlin offered his “deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy” to Queen Elizabeth, who was married to Philip for 73 years, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the late prince as “the consummate public servant” who would be “much missed in Israel and across the world.”