Cumbrians have paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh following his death at the age of 99.

Prince Philip passed away last Friday, just weeks after receiving hospital treatment for an existing heart condition.

Among those to pay tribute was former council leader Mike Mitchelson who, along with his wife Anne, led the Queen and the Duke around Tullie House during a tour of Carlisle for the Queen’s jubilee in 2002.

Mr Mitchelson paid tribute to the Duke and said he would never forget the meeting.

He said: “I was a bit apprehensive, as was my wife, but there was no need to be nervous because they were a pleasure to look after.

“They made you feel so at ease.

“It was a privilege and an honour and one of my life’s memories. The Duke was a lovely gentleman; he was so full of good humour.

“The Queen and I went into a side room to meet some schoolchildren, and when we came back out Philip was well ahead and she shouted ‘Philip you need to be behind me!’”

“I will never forget it. I was really saddened to hear of his death. With those memories of what a lovely person, such a humourous person, and the memories will stay with me forever.

“I have to say they were very knowledgeable.

“They’re a family, they’re the Royal Family, but they’re a real family too. He dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and you have to admire him for that.”

The Duke of Edinburgh was a regular visitor to the county in his spare time, and his passion for outdoor sports saw him set up in 1973 what soon became the world-famous Lowther Carriage Driving Trials, held in the historic grounds of Lowther Castle.

Between 1973 and 2008 the Duke of Edinburgh took part in almost every Lowther Carriage Driving Trials, competing against George Bowman, who went on to become World Carriage Driving Champion.

“We were friends, we would have a drink and a chat and do barbecues,” said George.

“He liked Lowther. He was a man’s man. He didn’t suffer fools and was a plain speaker. I liked that,” he added.

Prince Philip was a regular visitor, competing in the carriage-driving and adding further glamour to a highly popular three-day event.

“When he was older he still attended as a judge and spectator. He had a great sense of humour. He liked a pint of beer and would tell a few jokes. He was a very good sport and had a great sense of fair play,” said 86-year-old George.

The Duke of Edinburgh was well-known for his love of carriage driving and he went on to represent Great Britain in three European Championships and six World Championships.

“Prince Philip was a great horseman. He was selected for the British team and in 1980 we won a Gold Team Medal together, and the next year the Team Bronze Medal. When we went to Hungary with the British team I was invited to fly out with him,” added George.

The Prince developed the Pony Club Mounted Games and its trophy, The Prince Philip Cup. “He loved the Pony Club Games and when he was getting older went on to fell ponies and enjoyed driving them,” recalled George.

Former Carlisle MP Eric Martlew, who met the Queen’s husband in the 1980s on a factory visit to Wigton, also added his tributes.

Mr Martlew said: “I met him between 1983 and 1985, he was going around the factory at Wigton and I was chairman of the county council.

“He did seem very interested in what was going on. If I remember right, the apprentice had made him a model of a carriage – he used to go carriage driving up at Lowther. I think he was very taken by it.

“It was not unexpected, but you obviously feel very sorry for the Queen.”