Australian leaders have paid their respects to Prince Philip in a special church service held in Sydney.Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday that Prince Philip, 99, died at Windsor Castle, following months of health concerns and stints in and out of hospital.
Governor-General David Hurley, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Police Minister David Elliott all attended the Sunday service at St Andrew’s Anglican Cathedral.
No official Australian memorial service can be held until funeral arrangements are finalised in London.
During the service, Dean of Sydney Kanishka Raffel said he was deeply saddened by the Prince’s death.
“On his many visits to Australia we have come to know him as a man of compassion and service, personal warmth, intellectual curiosity and generous spirit,” Mr Raffel said.
“We thank God for the life of Prince Philip.”
Born on June 10, 1921, in Greece, the Duke of Edinburgh was just months away from celebrating his 100th birthday.
He was known for his cheeky, sometimes shocking comments made publicly.
Bishop Peter Hayward, who preached at the service, acknowledged a gaffe the Prince made at an event in Canada in 1969.
“Obviously, like all of us, the years of service can take a toll,” the bishop said.
“He said, ‘I declare this thing open, whatever it is.’
“We acknowledge the extraordinary contribution made to our lives, and to our country and to the world by Prince Philip.”
Bishop Hayward drew attention to the prince’s service and the exemplary fashion in which he had led his life.
Prince Philip was patron to 800 charitable organisations and dedicated his life to duty and service during his 73 years married to the Queen.
“A final school report said he was universally trusted, liked and respected, he (had) the greatest sense of service of all the boys at the school,” Bishop Hayward said.
“And that was to define his life from then on.”
The packed-out cathedral prayed for the prince, as well as the royal family and had a condolence book for members of the public to sign.
Earlier Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered his sympathy to the royal family and said the duke embodied a generation the world would never see again.
“Memories of him will of course tell stories of his candour, and a unique and forceful and authentic personality,” Mr Morrison said.
“But above all, he was a man who was steadfast, who could be relied upon, always standing by his Queen.”
Flags across Australia were flown at half mast over the weekend, and there was a 41-gun salute outside Parliament House in Canberra on Saturday.
Australians can register their condolences on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website, which will be passed onto the Queen.