The Royal British Legion is deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
We join the entire nation, and in particular the Armed Forces community, in mourning a decorated veteran of the Royal Navy in the Second World War and a life member of the Legion. His sense of service to the nation and strength of character has been an inspiration to us all.
Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy from 1939 to 1952 and was involved in active service on several occasions. He was a sub-lieutenant aboard the battleship HMS Valiant during the Battle of Cape Matapan, being mentioned in dispatches, and was awarded the Greek War Cross for heroism.
As first lieutenant and second in command of HMS Wallace, he served on convoy escort duties on the east coast of Britain and in the invasion of Sicily, where he devised a plan to deceive enemy night bombers and save his vessel from attack. He then joined the destroyer HMS Whelp with the British Pacific Fleet and was in Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Imperial Japan.
The strong affinity he shared with his Armed Forces comrades, and his dedication to the honour of their service and sacrifice, shone through in his work.
He routinely attended Remembrance events including the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday and the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall the preceding evening.
He actively contributed to national D-Day, VE Day, and VJ Day commemorations. His good humour, wit, and record of service created warm and long-lasting impressions on the many veterans he met, who were invariably delighted by the encounter.
Prince Philip regularly supported the King’s Lynn and District Branch of the RBL, memorably taking the salute at the veterans’ parades on the branch’s 80th and 90th Anniversaries in 2002 and 2012.
A courageous character and proud veteran, Prince Philip embodied the fortitude and resilience of our Second World War generation and our Armed Forces. We are immensely thankful for his lifetime of faithful service and we mourn his passing deeply.
Our sincerest condolences are with our Patron Her Majesty the Queen, and all Members of the Royal Family at this incredibly sad time.
A Condolence Book will be available at Holy Trinity Church, Funchal on the morning of Sunday 11th April 2021.
Madeira Area Representative
Royal British Legion – Portugal Branch