The Duke of Edinburgh “helped to steer the royal family” so that it remained central to our national life, Boris Johnson has said.
In his tribute to Philip, the Prime Minister said he had helped inspire millions through the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
And he highlighted the steadfast support the duke, who died aged 99, had offered the Queen during their long marriage.
He said we “give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh”.
Mr Johnson said: “Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.
“He was the longest serving consort in history, one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the Second World War at Cape Matapan, where he was mentioned in despatches for bravery and in the invasion of Sicily, where he saved his ship by his quick thinking and from that conflict he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post-war era.
“Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.”
The Prime Minister said Philip was an environmentalist “long before it was fashionable” and “with his Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people”.
But above all he will be remembered for his “steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen”.
“And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today.
“Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.”