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Copyright LE COURRIER AUSTRALIEN 2016
HomeAFPPrince Philip ’embodied a generation’: Australia PM

Prince Philip ’embodied a generation’: Australia PM

Prime Minister Scott Morrison ordered flags to be flown at half-mast in Australia to honour the passing Friday of Prince Philip, who he said “embodied a generation that we will never see again”.

“The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia,” he said in a statement.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern from neighbouring New Zealand also mourned Philip, noting his close ties to her country, including as patron of the Duke of Edinburgh Hillary Award, a youth achievement programme named in honour of New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary.

“In over fifty years of The Award in New Zealand, thousands of young people have completed life-changing challenges through the programme,” she said.

Both Commonwealth nations said they would lower flags in honour of Philip, and announce further memorial ceremonies in the days to come.

Philip visited Australia more than 20 times and New Zealand more than 10, mainly accompanying Queen Elizabeth, and was a patron of dozens of organisations in the two countries.

Both Australia and New Zealand have vociferous republican movements, which want to cut ties with the British monarchy, but opinion polls show neither has majority support.

Former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, an outspoken republican, recently acknowledged that the movement had little chance of success as long as Elizabeth remained on the throne.

The current president of the Australian Republic Movement, Peter Fitzsimmons, issued a statement of condolences on Philip’s death.

“His service shaped the lives of hundreds of thousands of people,” he said.

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