Prince Philip: Every living US president pays respects

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image caption Barack and Michelle Obama said they would “miss him dearly”

Every living former US president has paid their respects to the UK’s Prince Philip, who died on Friday at the age of 99.

The current President Joe Biden also issued a statement in which he praised the Duke of Edinburgh’s “lifetime of service to the United Kingdom”.

Some 18 presidents were elected in the duke’s lifetime. Queen Elizabeth II has met 12 US presidents during her reign, often with her husband by her side.

Joe Biden

Speaking from the White House, Mr Biden described the prince as “a heck of a guy”.

“His lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and the whole commonwealth was visible to everybody for a long, long time,” he said.

“I think he’s going to be missed, particularly in the United Kingdom. Ninety-nine years old, he never slowed down at all. Which I admire the devil out of.”

media caption”He was a heck of a guy”: US President Joe Biden pays tribute to Prince Philip

Mr Biden is reportedly due to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace in June.

On Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it was not yet determined whether the president would attend the duke’s funeral.

He and his wife, First Lady Jill Biden, also released a joint statement praising Prince Philip’s “decades of devoted public service”.

His legacy “is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more,” the pair wrote.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump, who last visited the Royal Family in 2019, described Prince Philip as “a man who embodied the noble soul and proud spirit of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth”.

He described Prince Philip’s death as an “irreplaceable loss for Great Britain, and for all who hold dear our civilisation”.

“Prince Philip defined British dignity and grace,” he said. “He personified the quiet reserve, stern fortitude, and unbending integrity of the United Kingdom.”

He added: “Over the past few years, Melania and I were honoured to have the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom.

“We saw first hand how the monarchy epitomises and carries on the virtues of the British people – and no-one did so more than Prince Philip.”

Barack Obama

Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said Prince Philip and the Queen had “already been on the world stage for more than half a century” at the time of the group’s first meeting.

“As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect. We shouldn’t have worried,” they said.

“The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable. Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humour. It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only grown.”

During a visit in 2016, the then 94-year-old Prince Philip drove the Obamas to lunch at Windsor Castle.

The Obamas said they would “miss him dearly”.

George W Bush

George W Bush praised the duke’s devotion to public service.

“Throughout his long and remarkable life, he devoted himself to worthy causes and to others. He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign,” he said.

He added that he and his wife Laura were “fortunate to have enjoyed the charm and wit of his company, and we know how much he will be missed”.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said they joined people “from all around the world in giving thanks for his remarkable life of service”.

They met Prince Philip and the Queen several times over the years, a statement by the couple said.

“We enjoyed every opportunity we had to visit with him through the years and will always be deeply grateful for the kindness he showed us.”

Jimmy Carter

The oldest living US president, Jimmy Carter, dined with Prince Philip and the Queen in 1977.

A tweet issued from the 96-year-old’s presidential library account read: “We are sorry to hear that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away.”

 

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