Column by the leader of South Gloucestershire Council, Toby Savage.

Along with so many of you, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday 9 April.

With the Chair of South Gloucestershire Council, Cllr June Bamford, I have written a joint letter to Her Majesty The Queen to express our condolences on behalf of the people of South Gloucestershire. We wanted to convey that the thoughts of residents and the Council are with Her Majesty and the Royal Family as they grieve for a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

I know you will want to pay your own personal tributes to someone who has played such an important role in our country’s history. An online book of condolence has been opened, organised by Buckingham Palace, which is available on the Royal Family website We have also opened our own a book of condolence for South Gloucestershire residents which you can find on our website here These condolences, from you, the people of South Gloucestershire, will be retained in local archives for posterity.

Prince Philip lived a long and distinguished life of public service and demonstrated extraordinary dedication and loyal commitment to the Queen, to our country and to the Commonwealth. Together with the Queen, he visited South Gloucestershire on several occasions. He took a great interest in the aerospace works at Filton, home to the assembly line of the British-built Concorde. During the course of his flying career Prince Philip logged 5,986 flying hours in over sixty different types of aircraft, including Concorde.

Prince Philip was there too when the Queen opened the Severn Bridge in 1966. He also enjoyed his many visits to the Badminton Horse Trials.

Along with Union Flags at royal residences, government buildings, establishments of the Armed Forces and UK Posts overseas, the Union Flag is flying at half-mast above our Council offices and will remain so until 8am on Sunday 18 April, the day following Prince Phillip’s funeral.