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ROYALS: Political leaders in Wales pay tribute to Philip as campaigning suspended

Political leaders in Wales have paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh following his death at the age of 99.

Buckingham Palace announced the duke’s death at Windsor Castle in a statement issued just after midday on Friday.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said Philip, the longest-serving consort in British history, had a “long and distinguished life”.

Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, paid tribute to Philip’s “many decades of public service” while Andrew RT Davies, Senedd leader of the Welsh Conservatives, described the duke as “dutiful, devoted and diligent”.

Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives confirmed that campaigning for the forthcoming Welsh Parliament election on May 6 had been suspended.

Flags at Welsh Government buildings are being flown at half-mast, while online books of condolence have been opened.

In a statement, Mr Drakeford 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.”

Mr Price sent his condolences to the Queen and her family on behalf of Plaid Cymru.

“For over six decades many young people in Wales will have experienced and benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, a reflection of the Duke’s many decades of public service,” he said.

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

Mr Davies paid tribute to Philip’s “remarkable life” and described the duke as “the strength and stay” to the Queen.

He added: “Dutiful, devoted, and diligent, his like will never be seen again, and the Welsh Conservatives offer their deepest condolences to The Queen, and the rest of the Royal Family.”

Simon Hart, secretary of state for Wales and Conservative MP for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, said Philip’s life would “inspire so many across the world”.

“He had a hugely positive impact on thousands of people from all generations in Wales,” Mr Hart said.

The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, said Philip had been a “rock” in the Queen’s life and had “steadfastly remained” at her side throughout their marriage.

“For his gifts and talents, for the benefits that his life brought to the lives of others, for his sense of duty and calling, and for his many evident and admirable qualities and attributes, we should give thanks and pray that he might be at peace, free from human frailty, and in new life with Christ,” the archbishop said.

He said the “love and prayers” of many from the Church in Wales would be with the Queen and her family following the duke’s death.

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