THOUSANDS of people across the county have been given the opportunity to pay their respects to Prince Philip in an online book of condolences.

BCP Council has posted a link to an online book, where people can send a message of condolence after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh of Friday.

A selection of messages will be passed onto members of the Royal Family and may also be held in the royal archives for posterity.

Chairman of BCP Council, David Flagg, said: “The people of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, and all of us at BCP Council, are saddened by the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the wider Royal Family at this difficult time.”

Graham Farrant, chief executive of BCP Council, added: “This is a very sad time for the entire country and our thoughts and condolences are with the Royal Family at this very difficult period.

“We have lost one of the most important figures from British history, who never wavered from their dedication to public duty and they served this country with courage and grace.

“The Duke of Edinburgh has been a constant throughout all of our lives, and I am personally very saddened by this news, having always had a deep respect for him. I know that residents who have met him were always moved by his words of comfort or touched by his warmth.

“I’m proud that all three of our towns have been visited by The Duke of Edinburgh - his place in history will never be forgotten.”

Dorset Council also posted the link to the book for people to send their support to the Royal Family.

Val Pothecary, chairman of Dorset Council, said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family as we mourn the loss of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and on behalf of Dorset Council I would like to offer them our heartfelt condolences.

“We give thanks for His Royal Highness’s wonderful life and years of devotion to serving the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. He has been an inspiration to us all.”