DIGNITARIES and officials across Bury have begun paying their respects following the announcement of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, aged 99.

The Duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch's side.

The Mayor of Bury, Councillor Tim Pickstone, has issued a message of condolence on behalf of Bury on the death of The Duke.

“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and I know that my sadness will be shared across Bury,” he said.

“Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh gave a lifetime of service to the people of the country.

“Our borough flags will be flown at half-mast and online books of condolence opened for the Bury community to visit and share their feelings at this sad time.

“There will be opportunities in the near future for the people of our borough to remember His Royal Highness Prince Philip and offer comfort to one another. For now, my thoughts are with all those who are deeply affected by His Royal Highness Prince Philip’s sad passing.”

Leader of Bury Council, Cllr Eamonn O'Brien, said: "My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family over the death of Prince Philip.

"Flags at the Town Hall will be flown at half mast as a mark of our respect for his life of service to our country."

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford said: “My deepest condolences go out to her Majesty the Queen and all her family following the news of the passing of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

“The Duke devoted his life to serving our county, as the consort to the Monarch, for over seven decades. He will be remembered for his service in the Royal Navy during the Second World War, his wide-ranging charity work and his well-known good humour.

“Most of all he will be remembered for his incredible support and commitment to the Queen in carrying out her duties.

“I know everyone across Radcliffe, Whitefield and Prestwich will join me in sending our thoughts to the Queen and all her family.”

Bury North MP James Daly said: “I would like to give my sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family. HRH Prince Philip was an exceptional man who dedicated his life to the service of this nation. From his bravery in the Royal Navy to his fantastic charitable work, he was truly inspiring and his passing is an incredibly sad loss for us all.”

The online book of condolence will be opened shortly, and further announcements will be made in due course. More: www.royal.uk