Nova Scotia Legislature pays tribute to Prince Philip

·3 min read
Page Charlotte Moase places a black ribbon on the flag pole that sits to the right of the Speaker’s chair in the legislative chamber at Province House.  (Kelly Regan/Facebook - image credit)
Page Charlotte Moase places a black ribbon on the flag pole that sits to the right of the Speaker’s chair in the legislative chamber at Province House. (Kelly Regan/Facebook - image credit)

The death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, brought the business of government to a temporary halt at Province House on Friday.

The Nova Scotia Legislature unanimously agreed to set aside the daily routine to allow legislators to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh before adjourning for the day.

"He led a good life, a long life, and one devoted to public service," said Premier Iain Rankin. "For nearly 74 years, he was at Queen Elizabeth's side playing a supporting role to the monarch. But you could never say he was in her shadow.

"On behalf of all Nova Scotians I want to express my deepest condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family."

'Truly remarkable'

PC Leader Tim Houston, the leader of the Official Opposition, also noted Philip's devotion to Queen Elizabeth.

"He served by her side for more than 70 years, the longest serving consort in British history," he said. "That's truly remarkable.

"He did work well into his 90s. He'll be remembered for his work ethic."

NDP Leader Gary Burrill recalled having met Philip and Queen Elizabeth on their last visit to the province in 2010. As the local MLA, he was among those to greet the couple at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

"He assured me then what a pleasure it was for him, and for them, to be again on the soil of Nova Scotia," said Burrill. "And I think particularly today of his very warm greeting, on a subsequent evening to my mother, when the Royal couple met the public at Pier 21.

"He inquired whether or not my mother was a war bride and she made clear to him that she was much too young for that. It was an important moment for her."

Tradition to adjourn

As has become traditional when a monarch or a member of their family dies, the House adjourned for the day.

Christopher McCreery, private secretary to Nova Scotia's lieutenant-governor, said it's a way to officially mark the passing.

"It's an old tradition that goes back before Confederation, as a sign of respect for the sovereign's consort or spouse," said McCreery. "The last time it was done in Nova Scotia and in Canada was following the death of Queen Mary, who was King George V's wife. And she died in 1952.

"The House adjourned in Nova Scotia and across Canada at that time."

According to McCreery, it didn't happen in 2002 when the Queen mother died because the legislature wasn't sitting at the time.

Arthur LeBlanc, the province's lieutenant-governor, also offered his condolences to the Royal Family in a written statement.

"Prince Philip lived a long and remarkable life that was characterized by duty and service," said LeBlanc. "He will be long remembered for his support to many charities and organizations, in particular his creation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award program."

Condolences

Nova Scotians who want to leave flowers or messages to express their feeling to the Royal Family can do so at Government House in Halifax.

People are also being encouraged to sign a book of condolences there or online at the Government House website. Those messages will be passed on to Buckingham Palace.

A memorial service will be held at All Saints Cathedral in about eight days.

Flags on all provincial buildings will be at half-mast from now until sunset on the day of the funeral.

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