Feature

God Is My Help: Remembering Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

OPINION |

As the Queen and the nation bid farewell to Prince Philip, his funeral service reflected the Duke’s early years.

A fitting tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, celebrating his naval experience, past achievements and service. As he is laid to rest, we acknowledge the life and times of Prince Philip, and the highlights that stand out from his long life and service to the country.

Prince Philip – Born into Royalty

While most of the world associates Prince Philip with the United Kingdom’s royal family, he was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. His rich royal heritage required him to give up one of his titles in order to marry the future Queen. At the age of just eighteen months, his family was exiled from his birthplace in Greece. Enjoying an education in France, Great Britain, and Germany, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy at the tender age of 18 in 1939. His upbringing certainly brought about some interesting stories over the years, with a brother-in-law of Prince Philip acting as a high-ranking officer within the Nazi SS (Schutzstaffel).

However, while the Duke’s ancestors included royalty from Germany, Denmark, Russia, and Greece, his loyalty was always firmly held with the British. In fact, it was uncovered that under an act of parliament dating back to 1705, Philip was actually a British subject, as he descended from Sophia of Hanover. Throughout his life, Prince Philip was seen as a constant supporter of Queen Elizabeth II, and the British public certainly adopted him as one of their own.

The ‘Grandfather of the Nation’

Prince Philip is often seen by the public as the ‘grandfather of the nation’. Before retiring at the age of 96, he carried out an incredible 22,000 public engagements. One of the most notable legacies that he left for the young British public is the creation of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Encouraging young people since 1956 to serve their community and explore the outdoors, this award will continue to live on in his name, and the scheme is still enjoyed by thousands of youngsters each year.

Credit: Allan Warren

While Prince Philip is generally remembered very fondly by the public, there have been a few controversies during his life. He was often caught making statements on race, gender, and religion. These racist and degrading remarks were often brushed off as light jokes, but they are not something to be taken lightly in this day and age. When the British royal family is in the spotlight for other concerns surrounding racism, this unfortunate side of his personality taints his otherwise fondly remembered life.

A fitting farewell

The service on Saturday was a fitting tribute to the man who dedicated over 70 years of his life to the British public. Serving alongside Queen Elizabeth II for so many years, most of the British public will remember him fondly for his support for both the nation and our royal family. His warm and friendly personality, and the stamp he has left on our country, will always be remembered, and he will be sorely missed by everyone whose life he touched.

His coat of arms states: “God Is My Help


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