Herefordshire Council has paid a warm tribute to Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, following his death last week at the age of 99.

Prince Philip was no stranger to the county, including Ledbury.

He and the Queen made their first visit to the county in 1957, and their last as a couple was in celebration of Diamond Day in Hereford, in 2012.

During the 1957, the Royal couple went from a cheering Ledbury town centre to Leominster, before the Queen planted two oak trees at Queenswood. At Hereford, thousands of well-wishers also gave them a rousing welcome.

The Royal Couple were next in the Ledbury area in July 2003, when the Queen visited Harling Court residential home in New Street, while the Duke visited a number of other locations, including Westons Cider Museum in Much Marcle, where he met local school children.

On Diamond Day, in 2012, to mark the Queen’s sixtieth anniversary on the throne, the Royal Couple were greeted by thousands of well-wishers at King George V playing fields in Hereford.

Responding to news of the Duke’s death, a spokesman for the county council said: “The councillors and officers of Herefordshire Council are deeply saddened at the news of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, and a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Thank you on behalf of Herefordshire to The Duke of Edinburgh for your devoted service to the UK and the Commonwealth. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this time.”

A statement on behalf of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant, Edward Harley OBE said: “I am very sad to hear the news regarding His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

“HRH has been a pillar of strength to The Monarchy, dedicating his life to supporting Her Majesty The Queen in her duties.

“The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which has offered opportunities to thousands of young people, is just one of his many lasting legacies. HRH has been a hugely positive and encouraging influence in so many fields.

“My thoughts are with Her Majesty and all the members of The Royal Family at this very sad time.”

A statement on behalf of Councillor Sebastian Bowen, Chairman of Herefordshire Council said: “It is with great sadness that we observe the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time. The flags across the county are being flown at half-mast as a sign of our greatest respect, and there will be books of remembrance located throughout Herefordshire to commemorate and celebrate fond memories of Prince Philip throughout his life.

“We first welcomed The Duke of Edinburgh to Herefordshire in 1957 when he accompanied the Queen on her first visit to the county as Queen. The last occasion was their visit on 11 July 2012 during Her Majesty’s celebration of her Diamond Jubilee, which will be a permanent memory for the people of Herefordshire.”