Posted by: secretperson | May 13, 2008

Prince Philip – Living Legend

ITV’s documentary on Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh made fascinating viewing. Interviewed by Sir Trevor Macdonald (like the Duke a foreign born British institution) I expected more of the controversial statements that tend to make the press, but maybe they are saving that up for the second part of the documentary.

Still the Duke came across as amusing and easy going. Without the responsibilities of the Queen (who does an excellent job, but must be more restrained) Philip had to carve himself a niche, and had much more freedom in which charities to support as well as what he could get away with saying.

From an early life as a naval officer seeing active service in World War Two, he had to give that up when his wife Princess Elizabeth became Queen. But through his support of various causes and charities he has been able to do his duty in other ways.

I knew, obviously, about the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme which the Duke set up to help young people. This sort of thing, along with Cadets and Scouts, might be exactly what the politicians are looking for to help the youth of today. I didn’t know that Prince Philip was head of the World Wildlife Fund for 15 years, and a supporter of conservation years before it was popular.

He is also chancellor of both Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities. They had a brief interview with Gordon Brown recalling the Prince supporting him as a young student against the Edinburgh establishment. Gordon looked much more relaxed when not having to talk about politics!

Anyway, Prince Philip, is the sort of person (like Boris Johnson) it is fashionable to attack in some left-wing circles. But it seems when people meet him the sense of humour wins them over. He has led a very different life to us ordinary folk, but his background doesn’t mean he can’t relate to us. He seems like a nice chap who does his best for the causes he believes in, and the Royal Family would be dull without him.


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