A BOOK of condolence is being hosted by Barnsley Council after the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip - a man described as a ‘powerful link to our past’ and no stranger to the borough.

The Duke of Edinburgh, husband of 73 years to Queen Elizabeth II, died at Windsor Castle last Friday aged 99.

The council has announced personal condolences can be recorded on its website - with Mayor of Barnsley Coun Caroline Makinson saying Barnsley had been ‘privileged’ to welcome the long-serving Duke on a number of visits.

“On behalf of the residents of Barnsley, may I say how deeply saddened I am at the announcement of the death of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh,” added Coun Makinson. 

“I would like to convey my sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and members of the royal family at this time of such personal loss.

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“We have been privileged to have welcomed the Duke on numerous occasions to Barnsley. 

“Many of you may remember a visit from both Her Majesty and His Royal Highness to the Metrodome Leisure Complex in 1991 when they also signed the official Civic visitor book, which proudly sits in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall.”

Prince Philip accompanied the Queen on her first official visit to Barnsley, shortly after the coronation, in October 1954 and met crowds who lined the streets.

In 1998, he was given a solo tour of the recently-opened Priory Campus in Lundwood, where the Duke characteristically took the time to chat to at least 50 people.

Hundreds gathered on May 30, 1991, when Prince Philip and the Queen visited the Metrodome - arriving by train at the transport interchange and being greeted by hundreds who waited in the rain.

The royal couple were led around the leisure facility by then council leader Coun Hedley Salt, who called the visit a ‘great day for Barnsley’.

Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis said: “My deepest sympathies go to the Queen and the Royal family following the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

“Prince Philip gave his life to service - from a distinguished and courageous career in the Royal Navy, where he saw active duty from the Mediterranean to the Far East during World War II, to the long, constant, and vital support to the Queen after they married in 1950.

“He provided her with love, companionship, and a private and family side to such a very public life.

“But he also gave a lifetime of dedication and service to the country himself.

“In particular, his work with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme inspired many thousands of young people to push themselves and their limits. It led me at age 18 to an expedition to the Himalayas, a formative experience, and one I will never forget.

“Prince Philip was an important part of a national institution, and a part of British public life for more than 70 years. As such he represented a powerful link to our past as a country and helped to shape it. His passing will be widely mourned.”

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton added: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. 

“My thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this sad time.”