Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Prince Philip leaves behind a legacy that speaks for itself

August 2nd marks the day Prince Philip is retiring from public duties. As #PrincePhilip trends on Twitter, he is carrying out his last official duty attending the Royal Marine Parade at Buckingham Palace. He has a long association with the Royal Marines Association. He has been honorary president since 1948. His first official engagement with them took place on July 15th, 1953 when he attended a dinner in the officers' mess at Eastney Barracks.

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It is unusual for a senior member of the royal family to retire. The royal family prides itself on carrying out duties regardless of age, health or even weather conditions. At the age of 96, Prince Philip has more than earned the right to step back and enjoy life.

His royal duties started in 1947. As Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, he accompanied his fiancée to Clydebank, Scotland in October 1947. The Princess was there to launch the Cunard Liner Caronia, at the time it was the largest liner in the world. During this visit the couple received a sewing machine as a wedding gift from the Clydebank townsfolk.

One of his earliest charity roles he took on was as President of the National Playing Fields Association. He remained president from 1947 until he stepped down in 2013.  The organization, founded in 1925 by King George V, has a long history of royal patronages. Its first royal president was the Duke of York (later King George VI). Now known as Fields in Trust, the current president is the Duke of Cambridge, who took over the role in 2013 when his grandfather stepped down.  Prince Philip appeared in a short film about the organization in 1951.

The Duke is patron or president of 800 charities, reflecting his interest in conservation, sport, the military and engineering. However, he is best known for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Created by the Duke in 1956, the organization it is the world's leading youth achievement award and since its inception has expanded to 141 countries and territories worldwide.

Through his initiatives and involvement, Prince Philip leaves behind a legacy to be proud of.  His royal stats speak for themselves.

Although he is officially retiring, I don't think we have seen the last of him just yet!

© Marilyn Braun 2017

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