Boris Johnson led tributes to Prince Philip in a humble address to the recalled House of Commons.

The Prime Minister offered the “heartfelt thanks of the nation” as MPs returned to the Commons early to pay their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Dressed in a black suit and tie the Prime Minister gave thanks for the Duke’s “unfailing dedication” to the country.

Johnson said the Duke gave us all a “model of selflessness” and acknowledged the country would want to consider a suitable memorial to Prince Philip in due course.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle led MPs in a minute silence before paying his own tribute to the Duke, saying “he never let the Queen down” and describing him as the “father of the nation”.

Johnson told the Commons that many people believe the Duke of Edinburgh had “touched their lives” in some way.

He told the Commons: “He had other novel ideas that touched the lives of millions, developed their character and confidence, their teamwork and self-reliance.

“It was amazing and instructive to listen on Friday to the Cabinet’s tributes to the Duke and to hear how many of them were proud to say that they or their children had benefited from taking part in his Duke of Edinburgh’s Award schemes."

He added: “It is fitting that on Saturday his Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be conveyed to his final resting place in a Land Rover which Prince Philip designed himself, with a long wheel base and capacious rear cabin.

“Because that vehicle’s unique and idiosyncratic silhouette reminds the world that he was above all a practical man, who could take something very traditional – whether a machine or, indeed, a great national institution – and find a way by his own ingenuity to improve it, to adapt it for the 20th and 21st century.”

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Keir Starmer said the Prince had lived a life of service and of duty that shaped modern Britain and provided “much-needed stability to our national story”.

The Labour leader described Prince Philip as a warm and direct man.

Starmer said: “Prince Philip was a man of many titles: Duke of Edinburgh. Lord High Admiral. A Royal Commander. Baron of Greenwich

“But above all he was a much-loved father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

“To Her Majesty the Queen he was not only her “beloved husband”, but – in her words – her “strength and stay” for seven decades.

“So it’s right that today this House – and the country – comes together to pay tribute not just to a man, but to the virtues he personified.”

He added: “The life of Prince Philip was extraordinary, lived in a century on fast-forward.

"A time that saw world war, a cold war, the fall of Empire, twenty Prime Ministers, the invention of the television, the internet, Artificial Intelligence and technology so extraordinary it might have seemed to a lesser person as if from another world.

“Throughout that time, the monarchy has been the one institution for which the faith of the British people has never faltered.

"And as we’ve seen once again in recent days, the Royal family has a connection with the British people that runs as deep today as it did when Philip Mountbatten married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947.”

Ian Blackford, the SNP Westminster leader, reflected on the Duke’s deep connection with Scotland which said came before and went beyond his royal title of the capital city.

Blackford, dressed in a kilt and formal black tie and jacket, said: “It was a connection that stretched across his entire life – from childhood to old age.

“As a child he attended school at Gordonstoun, and his love of the sea first found its spark in Scotland, when he frequently went on school trips sailing around the coast of Scotland.

"His affection for his time at Gordonstoun is obviously demonstrated by the fact that he sent all of his sons there in later years.”

The SNP leader said the link with Scotland and the Highlands only grew and deepened after his marriage to the Queen.

He added: “The love they have for Balmoral Castle has been evident for years and their presence there each summer is now part of the fabric of that local community.”

Blackford reminded MP that Prince Philip took a keen interest in Scottish architecture.

He said the Prince joined the Queen to open the Forth Road Bridge in 1964 and were the first people to cross the link between Fife and Edinburgh.

Blackford added: "That enduring interest with the Forth crossing was replicated some 50 years later when he made a private visit to see the construction of the Queensferry Crossing.”

“Once again, alongside the Queen, they became the first people to cross the new bridge after it officially opened it in 2017.”

Tributes were expected to continue in the Commons throughout the afternoon.