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Residents wanting to send a message of condolence for HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, are being encouraged to do so virtually in line with the wishes of the royal family.

An online national book of condolence can be signed at www.royal.uk/condolence.

Anyone without access to a computer can use the city’s library services, where staff will be available to support residents to access the People’s Network computers and sign the online book.

In addition, the council will collate written messages from those unable to get online, which can be posted to the Lord Mayor’s Office, 2nd Floor, Guildhall, Portsmouth PO1 2AJ or dropped into boxes at Beddow, North End, Paulsgrove or Southsea libraries.

Cllr Rob Wood, the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, said: “We are all deeply saddened by the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and know that many residents will want to pay their respects. However, guided by current Covid restrictions and in accordance with the Palace and government, we are encouraging residents to sign the national book of condolence online where possible.

“For anyone unable to access the virtual book, we are collating some written messages for a city book of condolence which will be held in the city archives. Cards for messages are also being delivered to care homes and sheltered accommodation for residents to contribute.”

From tonight (Monday 12 April) until the evening of Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday 17 April, buildings across the city – including the Spinnaker Tower and Guildhall – will be lit purple, the colour of mourning. The council will also continue to fly flags at half-mast until 8.00am on Sunday 18 April.