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With artillery salvoes and flowers, the British bid farewell to Prince Philip

On Saturday, cannon shots were fired across the UK to commemorate the death of Prince Philip, while tributes multiplied in memory of a man who was a pillar of strength for Queen Elizabeth.

Citizens placed flowers outside the royal residences, paying their respects to the 99-year-old prince, who spent more than seven decades by his wife’s side during a record reign.

On their official Twitter account, the royal family recalled the tribute the queen paid to her husband on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.

“He was simply my strength and support throughout all these years, and I, and his entire family, and this and many other countries, owe him a greater debt than he would ever claim, or will never know,” he said.

Family members have been visiting the monarch at Windsor Castle, where Philip died on Friday.

“The queen has been amazing,” said Sofia, the Countess of Wessex, tearfully as she dated her husband, Prince Edward, the youngest son of Elizabeth and Philip.

The armed forces marked Philip’s death at noon with a salute. Artillery units in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Gibraltar, as well as some Navy warships, fired their weapons.

Buckingham Palace is expected to announce funeral details later on Saturday.

It’s likely a small, private ceremony, stripped of the grandeur of other royal occasions by COVID-19 restrictions and the prince’s aversion to people making a big splash.

Despite a request from the royal family that people obey pandemic social distancing rules and avoid visiting their residences, many deposited cards and bouquets outside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

“It’s not something I’ve done before,” said Joanna Reesby, 60, who came to pay her respects at Buckingham Palace. “I brought yellow roses out of friendship, because I think that’s what he showed everyone who entered his world.”

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