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Prince Philip Honored with Military Gun Salutes Across the U.K.

Maria Pasquini
·4 min read
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Prince Philip was honored on Saturday with a 41-gun salute across the United Kingdom.

To mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, starting at noon local time, rounds were fired at one-minute intervals from The Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle, Cardiff Castle, Hillsborough Castle and at sea.

Although the tradition of gun salutes has evolved over the years, the tradition goes back to the 16th century.

"Ships of the Royal Navy used to, on entering a friendly port would fire off all their cannons to show that they had no loaded guns and therefore weren't a threat," explained Adjutant Captain Josh Bate in a video posted on the British Army's social media account over the weekend. "In response the friendly port would then fire their guns to show that they acknowledged the salute and also weren't a threat to the ship coming in."

"That's evolved over the past 100 years, and now it's just a more general sign of respect and we fire a different number of guns depending on who we're paying our respects to," he added.

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RELATED: Prince Charles Visited His Mother the Queen at Windsor Castle Hours After Prince Philip's Death

The "most common" salute is the 21-gun salute, "which is reserved for members of the royal family and is the Royal salute."

"What we are going to see today, because it's in honor of a death of a member of the Royal Family is a 41-gun salute," he explained. "So we have an additional 20 rounds fired. In addition, the interval between firing the guns goes from 10 seconds to a minute."

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day where we are looking back at Prince Philip's life and legacy.

On Saturday morning, the official Twitter account for Queen Elizabeth and her family members also shared a touching quote the royal once said about her husband.

"He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know," she said about Philip in 1997.

Philip "passed away peacefully" at Windsor Castle on Friday, where he and the monarch have spent the majority of the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

His death came just weeks after he returned to Windsor Castle following a month-long hospital stay, which included treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition.

Watch Elizabeth & Philip: A Royal Romance – The True Story Behind the Crown on PeopleTV.com or on the PeopleTV app.

Philip, who retired from his public duties in August 2017, is survived by his wife of 73 years, their daughter Princess Anne and their three sons: next-in-line-to-the-throne Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

He also leaves behind eight grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry as well as nine great-grandchildren, including Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie and Princess Eugenie's newborn son August, whose was given the middle name Philip in honor of the Duke of Edinburgh.

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The Queen has entered an eight-day period of mourning following the death of her husband. Following the eight days, a funeral will take place at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

In a statement, the palace said Friday, "During the coronavirus pandemic, and in light of current government advice and social distancing guidelines, modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh are being considered by Her Majesty The Queen. Details will be confirmed in due course."