Tributes paid to HRH Duke of Edinburgh
Tributes have been paid to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh who has died at the age of 99.
The announcement was made by Buckingham Palace around lunchtime (today) and was met with shock and sadness from across the county.
Aberdeenshire Provost Bill Howatson said: "It is with sadness that we learned today of the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
"Prince Philip was a regular visitor to Aberdeenshire and found many moments of peace in our landscapes and scenery.
"The area has such strong connections to the Royal family I know that his passing will be mourned locally, nationally and internationally.
"I would like to pass my sincere condolences to the family of His Royal Highness, on behalf of the people of Aberdeenshire."
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sent a message of condolence to Her Majesty The Queen following the announcement.
Flags flew at half-mast on Scottish Government buildings and online Books of Condolence were opened.
The First Minister said: “On behalf of the people of Scotland, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.
“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by people across the country.
“The Duke of Edinburgh had deep and longstanding ties to Scotland, attending school here at Gordonstoun and regularly holidaying at Balmoral Castle.
“From his patronage of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, to his close association with the University of Edinburgh as Chancellor for over fifty years and his commitments to countless charities and organisations Prince Philip’s long contribution to public life in Scotland will leave a profound mark on its people.
“Online Books of Condolence will open in the coming days to allow people to pay their respects.
"In line with current restrictions, the Royal Household has requested that members of the public do not leave floral tributes or gather at the Palace of Holyroodhouse or Balmoral Castle at this time.
"The Palace has suggested that people could donate to charity instead, if they wish to do so.”
Campaigning for the May 6 Scottish Parliament election has been suspended.