Duke of Edinburgh dead
Meditation and Reflection

On the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said today: 

“I join with the rest of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, and give thanks to God for his extraordinary life of dedicated service. Prince Philip continually demonstrated his unfailing support and unstinting loyalty to Her Majesty The Queen for 73 years.

“He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service. During his naval career, in which he served with distinction in the Second World War, he won the respect of his peers as an outstanding officer.

“On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special.

“The legacy he leaves is enormous. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which he founded in 1956, has inspired generations of young people to help others and instilled in them a vision for citizenship and a desire to serve their communities. His work with countless charities and organisations reflected his wide- ranging, global interests in topics including wildlife, sport, design, engineering and inter-faith dialogue.

“In his powerful advocacy for conservation his was a prophetic voice for over half a century, as he brought people from around the world to a new concern and commitment to action for the future of our planet.

“As we recover and rebuild after the terrible trial of the coronavirus pandemic, we will need fortitude and a deep sense of commitment to serving others. Throughout his life Prince Philip displayed those qualities in abundance, and I pray that we can take inspiration from his example.

“I also join many people in giving thanks for the marriage of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, and for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Theirs was a marriage grounded in friendship and mutual respect and sustained by shared faith in Christ.

“I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time. May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory.”

 

The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said:

“It was with great sadness that a short time ago I received word from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has passed away at the age of 99.

Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.

He was the longest serving consort in history, one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the second world war at Cape Matapan, where he was mentioned in despatches for bravery, and in the invasion of Sicily, where he saved his ship by his quick thinking and from that conflict he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post war era.

Like the expert carriage driver that he was he helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.

He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.

We remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.

Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her “strength and stay”, of more than 70 years.

And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today.

Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.

Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary, Her Majesty said that our country owed her husband “a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know” and I am sure that estimate is correct.

So we mourn today with Her Majesty The Queen, we offer our condolences to her and to all her family and we give thanks, as a nation and a Kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”