Borderers pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

Tributes have been paid across the region following the death last Friday of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

By Kevin Janiak
Monday, 12th April 2021, 5:01 pm
The Duke of Edinburgh makes his second visit to the Steading in 2019.

The duke, husband to Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully, aged 99, at Windsor Castle.

The duke accompanied the queen on many of her visits over the years to the Scottish Borders, including the day she travelled into the region by train to officially open the Borders Railway.

And he has touched many hearts as he spoke to people of all walks of life in the region.

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The Union flag flies at half mast on Thirlestane Castle. Prince Philip visited the Maitland-Carew family several times.

Scottish Borders Council arranged for its flags to fly at half-staff on all council buildings as a mark of respect.

Councillor David Parker, Scottish Borders Council convener said: “Prince Philip enjoyed many public and private engagements in the Scottish Borders during his time as the Duke of Edinburgh.

"He was particularly fond of Lauderdale, where he enjoyed the hospitality of the local community.

"The council is very sad to hear this news today, and offers Her Majesty the Queen and all her family our deepest sympathies and condolences at this time.”

The Duke of Edinburgh accompanies the Queen and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon onboard the Union of South Africa train, on their way to Tweedbank in September 2015 to officially open the new Borders Railway.

One of the places the duke was most fond of in the region was the home of wood artist Tim Stead in Blainslie, which he visited twice.

Nichola Fletcher, chair of the Tim Stead Trust, said: “He was intrigued by Tim’s unique approach to wood and the way he used it, and he was fully in tune with Tim’s conservation work with wood and trees, telling Tim’s widow Maggy Stead how he, too, had planted thousands of trees on his own properties.

“Maggy told us he was like a ‘small boy, rushing around with a big smile on his face’.

“The Tim Stead Trust sends its condolences to the royal family.”

Borders MP John Lamont said: “Prince Philip was steadfast in his support of Queen and country, serving in the Royal Navy during World War II, and dutifully serving Her Majesty during their long marriage.

“Prince Philip was a regular visitor to the Scottish Borders. I remember him attending Coldstream Parish Church a few years ago whilst staying locally.

“This is deeply sad news for Her Majesty The Queen, the royal family, the country and indeed the Commonwealth."

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell said: "He was a remarkable man who provided a tremendous support to Her Majesty the Queen and, like her, had a remarkable perspective on global events built up over many decades of public service."

Southern Reporter readers shared their memories of the duke’s visits.

Fiona Macpherson said: “I remember standing in Melrose High Street when they visited for the jubilee tour. The lady standing next to me and my granny had corgis, and the Queen came over to speak to them.

"Prince Phillip was on the other side of the road, but came over when he spotted the dogs as well. Very sad to hear he has passed, would have loved him to reach his 100th birthday.”

And Alastair Murray said: “I do remember the Queen walking past Houston the bakers when she visited us in Hawick many years ago.”