The Freemasons have made an impassioned tribute to Prince Philip, one of their former members, following his death aged 99.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away on Friday morning at Windsor Castle. He was the longest-serving royal consort in the history of the British monarchy.
A number of other Royal Family members have associations with The Freemasons.
In a statement, the group said: “The Freemasons are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Prince Philip this morning and we extend our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.
“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh started his life in Freemasonry in 1952, at the age of 31.
“He was initiated into Navy Lodge, No 2612, on 5 December.
“On 6 March 1953, HRH Prince Philip progressed to the Second Degree of Freemasonry, before advancing to the Third Degree on 4 May 1953.
“The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) issued his Grand Lodge Certificate on 7 May that same year and he has remained a member to this day.”
The Freemasons are a group of fraternal bodies which can trace their origins to associations of stonemasons in the late 14th century.
Philip was born on Corfu in June 1921, the son of Princess Alice of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece.
Due to his parentage, he initially held the title Prince of Greece and Denmark.
Philip joined the Royal Navy in 1939 serving with distinction during the second world war.
He was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery at the Battle of Cape Matapan during the 1941 German invasion of Crete.
In 1947 Philip renounced his Greek and Danish titles before marrying Princess Elizabeth.
Following the death of her father in 1952,
Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II.
According to The Freemasons’ statement Prince Philip was active within the organisation.
They said: “The Duke of Edinburgh was known to drop into meetings at his Freemasons Lodge almost unannounced.
“Navy Lodge has a storied past and an amazing roster of luminaries appear upon its membership roll.
“The Lodge prides itself on being the premier Naval Lodge in the world, with an unparalleled history that includes four monarchs as past members – King Edward VII, King Edward VIII, King George VI and King George II of the Hellenes.”
Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, is also a Mason holding the title of Grand Master.
The news of Prince Philip’s death was announced by a statement from Buckingham Palace.
It said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Boris Johnson said the Duke had “inspired the lives of countless young people”.
Following the announcement well-wishers began leaving flowers outside Buckingham Palace in London