Like so many of you, I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away this morning. My thoughts are with the Queen and her family who have lost a loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.
For over 70 years Prince Phillip has played a larger-than-life role in his service to our nation and through his commitment to seemingly innumerable charitable causes, and particularly through the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, he has made a positive contribution to the lives of countless people, from all backgrounds, throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Prince Philip was a Navy man through and through. His profound sense of duty and ability to plan and look ahead meant that enabled him to not only support Her Majesty The Queen for 73 years, but also to address global issues long before they became fashionable. Through his dedication to conservation and environmental issues, along with his championing of science and technology, he was years ahead of his time.
He will be remembered for his loyal devotion to service and his leadership of hundreds of ideals and causes close to his heart. Most notably, of course, is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which helps millions of young people around the world to achieve their full potential as team members and future leaders in their chosen fields.
He was patron of hundreds of charities across a wide range of interests and a continued supporter of the Armed Forces throughout his life. His dedication and contribution to causes that may have gone unnoticed was an insight into his strength of character and of his resolve to make a difference.
On his passing this morning, I would like to echo the heartfelt words of our Prime Minister:
“By any measure, Prince Philip lived an extraordinary life – as a naval hero in the Second World War, as the man who inspired countless young people through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and, above all, as Her Majesty the Queen’s loyal consort.
“Our thoughts are with Her Majesty and her family, who have lost not just a much loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and great grandfather.
“We are a Kingdom united in both grief and gratitude; grief at Prince Philip’s passing, and gratitude for his decades of selfless service to the country.”