Epping Forest’s councillors have offered their “deepest sympathy and condolences” to the Queen following the death of Prince Philip.

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away aged 99 at Windsor Castle on Friday morning.

Books of Condolences have been opened at Buckhurst Hill Library and North Weald Village Hall.

After the period set by protocol, the books will be closed, and a copy will be printed and retained for historic purposes, with a copy passed to the Essex Records Office.

Cllr Helen Kane, chairman of Epping Forest District Council has also written on behalf of the Epping Forest district to the Private Secretary to the Duke of Edinburgh to express condolences to Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family.

"It is with the most profound regret that I write on behalf of the councillors and residents of Epping Forest District to offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to Her Majesty the Queen on the loss of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” she wrote.

"This must be a moment of great personal sadness to Her Majesty and deeply felt throughout the Royal Family.

"However, the loss of the Duke has also reverberated far further afield, across this whole Island and the world beyond. The Duke will be remembered for a lifetime of dedication and service. At the outbreak of war in 1939, he was a very young officer in the Royal Navy. He served with bravery and distinction in some of the most dangerous campaigns of the war including the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Pacific. To the wartime generations, his service in the Royal Navy made him the perfect husband to the future Queen.

"Wartime service set the standard by which the Duke lived the rest of his life. A man of great drive and intelligence, the legacy he leaves, epitomised by the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, is rivalled only by the dedication and service of the Queen herself over such a large span of years.

"Together with the Duke, Her Majesty has defined the very best qualities of what ‘Great Britain’ or the United Kingdom means to the wider world. His loss will be felt particularly throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

"Please assure Her Majesty of the continuing affection and high esteem in which she and her family are held at this most difficult time."

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