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‘Much missed:’ Israeli leaders, UK chief rabbi mourn death of Prince Philip

Netanyahu hails Duke of Edinburgh as ‘consummate public servant’; Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis remembers royal’s ‘affection for’ Jewish community, notes his mother’s burial in Israel

Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, third from left, poses with the Duke of Edinburgh, left, Queen Elizabeth II, right,  Israeli President Ezer Weizman and his wife Reuma at a State Banquet in their honor at Buckingham Palace, London, in this February 25, 1997 file photo. (AP Photo/John Stillwell/pool)
Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, third from left, poses with the Duke of Edinburgh, left, Queen Elizabeth II, right, Israeli President Ezer Weizman and his wife Reuma at a State Banquet in their honor at Buckingham Palace, London, in this February 25, 1997 file photo. (AP Photo/John Stillwell/pool)

Israeli leaders on Friday mourned the passing of Britain’s Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, saying that his death was a loss for the world and Israel.

“Prince Philip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

President Reuven Rivlin sent his “deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy” to the Queen and the British people on behalf of Israel.

“May his memory be a blessing,” Rivlin wrote.

“I send my deep and sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip,” said opposition leader Yair Lapid.

UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis sent the “most profound condolences” on behalf of Jews in the Commonwealth.

“I enjoyed immensely my personal conversations with the Duke of Edinburgh, during which I was deeply moved by his extraordinary sense of duty. A remarkable Royal, working well into his 90s, he became a role model for staying active in one’s later years and demonstrated an unwavering sense of responsibility to our country,” Mirvis said.

He added: “We remember the Duke’s interaction with, and affection for, the Jewish community in the UK and his connection with Israel, where his mother is buried and which he visited in 1994.”

Britain’s Prince Philip escorts his mother, Princess Alice Andreas of Greece, in the wedding procession of Princess Margarita of Baden and Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia after the religious ceremonies on June 5, 1957, in Salem, Germany. (AP Photo)

Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, died in 1969 and was posthumously honored by Britain and Israel for sheltering a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Athens during the war.

She is buried in Jerusalem and is counted as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, an honor bestowed by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

In 1994, Philip made a non-official visit to Israel for a ceremony to mark his mother’s valor.

Philip’s life “was spent in public service, from his active duty in the Navy during World War II to the tens of thousands of engagements which he carried out over six and a half decades of royal duties,” the president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, wrote in a statement.

Buckingham Palace announced his death Friday. He was 99.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace said. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle.

His life spanned nearly a century of European history, starting with his birth as a member of the Greek royal family and ending as Britain’s longest-serving consort during a turbulent reign in which the thousand-year-old monarchy was forced to reinvent itself for the 21st century.

Philip is survived by the queen and their four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — as well as eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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