The death of Prince Philip made me feel like the little girl I was back in the 1960s when we were the first family on our cul-de-sac to have sight of a television.
It was the dawn of the TV age and the neighbours, fuelled by Babycham, filed in to gaze and gawp. Dad, then an electrical engineer at Rediffusion, the pioneering TV rental, retail and servicing company, had brought it home to fix a fault.
As TV seemed to broadcast mainly test-cards at the time, I couldn’t see what the fuss was about until as time passed I became mesmerised by the frequent black and white images of the young Queen Elizabeth and her handsome husband, Prince Philip, already Danish and Greek royalty, before he met and fell in love with his English Princess.
From the beginning the Duke said in not so many words ‘I can’t suddenly change my way of doing things, it’s who I am, I can’t change’.
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And that’s one of the reasons we respected and admired him, even if we rather suspected that he might have a had a few poisonous quips up his sleeve regarding us loyal subjects!
I met him through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award quite a while ago and found he was very much like Prince Charles in that he had a great sense of humour and again, like his eldest son, could be be a bit of a tease, saying things to shock and waiting for a reaction.
He steadfastly, was who he was. He remained who he was and we will remember him as he was, the real article, the man who said what he thought no matter who he was talking to, or what effect it might have.
As The Queen, once said, ‘We owe him a debt greater than he, or we, will ever know’. Certainly his sense of duty knew no bounds. And if we often suspected that he didn’t like us very much, we respected him very much indeed.
We witnessed his extraordinary sense of duty, his loyalty, his directness, his forbearance and his sense of humour. Life will not be the same without him. They don’t make them like him anymore. RIP Sir. And thank you.