Wales On Sunday

Minute’s silence follows gun salute at Cardiff Castle

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A NATIONAL minute’s silence for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh was marked with a gun salute at Cardiff Castle.

A 105mm light gun was used to fire one round at 3pm to begin the minute’s silence and another at 3.01pm to end it in tandem with other saluting stations across the UK.

The ceremonial gun was operated by reservists from 104th Regiment Royal Artillery, based in Newport, in the castle grounds, which were closed to members of the public yesterday.

Captain Helen Jasper told the PA news agency the regiment was “honoured” to have been asked to take part in the ceremony.

“It’s mixed emotions as it’s clearly a sad day. But, again, we’re very proud to lead the country in mourning.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford sent a flower wreath to the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral to offer “sincere condolence­s” from the people of Wales.

The wreath, of white chrysanthe­mums and red roses, was accompanie­d by a short message written in English and Welsh and was sent to Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral service at St George’s Chapel.

The card bearing the message said: “On behalf of the government and people of Wales.

“Cydymdeiml­ad diffuant – Sincere condolence­s.”

The Welsh Parliament was recalled on Monday following Philip’s death, for Members of the Senedd to offer tributes remotely.

Mr Drakeford told the Senedd the Duke had lived an “exceptiona­l life” while sustaining decades of public service, during which he held the title of Earl of Merioneth and championed “a broad diversity” of causes in Wales.

The Earl of Merioneth title was given to Philip on the day of his marriage, with the titles Baron Greenwich and Duke of Edinburgh.

The duke’s relationsh­ip with the historic county of Merioneth in North Wales included supporting a number of associatio­ns and societies, including its cricket club, sailing club and brass band.

In August 1960 Philip was given his Welsh bardic title Philip Meirionnyd­d by the archdruid of Wales, Mr Edgar Phillips, after being made an Honorary Ovate (graduate) of the Gorsedd of Bards at the National Eisteddfod in Cardiff.

As members of the Royal Family fell silent at 3pm at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, members of the public across the country – and Prime Minister Boris Johnson – did the same.

The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a gunshot to signal the start of the silence at Windsor, with the pallbearer­s carrying Philip’s coffin and members of the Royal Family following it pausing in their positions, while those already inside the chapel also fell silent.

Gun salutes took place at the same time performed by royal regiments at sites including Hillsborou­gh Castle in Northern Ireland, and Edinburgh Castle, as well as on Royal Navy warships deployed in Portsmouth, Devonport and overseas.

Outside Windsor Castle and the nearby Long Walk, hundreds of mourners who had lined the streets clutching Union flags and flowers fell quiet.

Artist Kaya Mar, 65, who stood alongside an oil painting of Philip which he made last week, was among those who paused to remember the duke as armed officers stationed above surroundin­g buildings watched on.

Meanwhile, a crowd gathered at the gates of Buckingham Palace also observed the silence.

Boris Johnson, who has said his “thoughts are with Her Majesty and her family”, observed the silence while watching the funeral on television from his country residence in Chequers.

The Prime Minister was unable to attend in person due to coronaviru­s restrictio­ns limiting the guestlist to just 30 people.

Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster took part in the silence from Enniskille­n Castle in County Fermanagh, while her Scottish counterpar­t Nicola Sturgeon paused on the steps of Bute House in Edinburgh.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford also marked the silence.

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