Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Commonwealth Tribute

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died on the morning of April 9th, at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace announced.

He was born on June 10, 1921, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, in Mon Repos, Corfu. He died on April 9th, 2021, at Windsor Castle. He was 99. The flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast and a notice of his death was posted on the gates.

Westminster Abbey tolled its tenor bell 99 times, once every 60 seconds, commencing at 18:00 BST.

Floral tributes were left outside the palace, and hundreds of people visited Windsor Castle to pay their respects.

As consort, His Royal Highness gave strong support to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II throughout his life as she fulfilled her duties as Head of the Commonwealth.

They were married for more than seventy years.

Humanitarian and Achiever

Among many other things, The Duke was a humanitarian, a leader, and a firm believer in achievement through cooperation and working together.

prince philip, duke of edinburgh. photo c/o commonwealth secretariat
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Photo c/o Commonwealth Secretariat.

Commonwealth Tribute

The Rt. Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth paid tribute to the Duke. She said, “His questioning mind and sense of adventure, combined with an engaging informality and forthrightness, enabled him to communicate huge positivity and faith as to what could be achieved through individual and international connection.”

Prince Philip and the Queen were married in 1947 after his service in the Royal Navy and World War II. He brought his spirit of service and cameraderie to the many institutions and organisations of the Commonwealth.

In 1952, the Duke and Pricess Elizabeth were on a world tour, in Kenya en route to Australia and New Zealand, when her father, King George VI died. The Duke gave Princess Elizabeth the sad news that her father had passed away, and that she was Queen. From that moment, their lives became very different.

At the time of her coronation in 1953, Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were very young. They symbolised hope for the future, and the spirit of goodwill and optimism rooted in a sense of belonging together as members of a worldwide family f nations and people.


Speaking of The Duke of Edinburgh’s approach to leadership, The Commonwealth Secretary-General noted, “His Royal Highness had a farsighted understanding of the potential of Commonwealth connection, and his approaches to bringing people together from a wide range of backgrounds to develop leadership skills were regarded as innovative and brave.”

“With vigour and vision, the Duke of Edinburgh carved out an immensely valuable role for himself within Commonwealth networks, with a focus on projects and programmes through which he could build on his distinctive philosophy of cultivating understanding and self-reliance, and thereby complement Her Majesty’s official responsibilities and duties as Head of the Commonwealth.”

“His Royal Highness described the Commonwealth Studies Conferences, which he founded in 1956, as ‘an extraordinary experiment.’ They were a pioneering forum for bringing together emerging leaders and talented men and women from the management of industrial corporations, trade unions, the professions and civil society. His vision and prescience in creating this movement at this time was a striking demonstration of a depth of understanding of what would be needed to meet the challenges of the next millennium.”

Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

Prince Philip lent his name to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme that offered unique opportunities for young people to stretch themselves, to gain confidence and develop resourcefulness. He saw this as a very important way to nurture social progress and innovation throughout the Commonwealth.

At the time, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme was a ground-breaking initiative, and more than sixty years later, it continues to offer valuable opportunities for people throughout the Commonwealth.

His Royal Highness took a keen interest in the activities of many charitable and civil society organisations, and he was patron or president of many of them.

Conservation Advocate

He was an early and prominent advocate for international action on the conservation of wildlife and natural habitat.

The Secretary-General noted that “Past, present and future generations of Commonwealth citizens owe a debt of gratitude to Prince Philip for remaining constant and steadfast in his commitment to the Commonwealth, and his assuredness and vision of its global importance.”

“In mourning his passing, we each share in some measure the far greater sense of loss and bereavement Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family will be feeling at this time of such sadness.”

The Commonwealth Family

“It falls to me, on behalf of the Commonwealth family which he served so long and so faithfully, to offer Her Majesty and all those close to His Royal Highness Prince Philip our heartfelt condolences and sympathy.”

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states, with a combined population of 2.4 billion people.

The Commonwealth that the Duke championed for most of his life contains and supports advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two of the member states are small, including island nations.

Commonwealth member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.

People all over the world mourn the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Update: just prior to the funeral, the Royal Family released a number of family photos of Prince Philip, including the one below. An NBC story documents some of them.

prince philip duke of edinburgh
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh seen with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Windsor in 2015. Photo c/o Kensington Palace
Alan Gray
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