Closer to the truth than that of the tabloids, the patriarch of the royal family had the wisdom to see that investing in young people is the best possible use of resources.
First published in April 2021.
I have a niece who is a Duke of Edinburgh scheme awardee. When Prince Philip died, barely two months before his 100th birthday, I asked her how she felt. “Sad,” she said, “I always liked him, he was funny.”
Now my niece was, by no means close to Prince Philip. She met him at a ceremony for the Award that bears his name. She was one of the millions — in more than 140 countries — who have benefited from the scheme since it started in 1956. She was one of the lucky ones, who as Prince Philip once said, got a “do-it-yourself growing-up kit” just by being on the scheme.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2016. | Instagram/theroyalfamily
It spoke volumes too that my niece, a young woman with a pretty good sense of humour herself, remembered Prince Philip so fondly for his jocularity.
It made me realise the truth of what Robert Jobson has written in his forthcoming biography of the Duke: “[T]here has been a tabloid tendency in recent years to dismiss him as a rude old man from a bygone age. But from his fascination with television and space travel to his conviction that the royals must remain relevant to the public, Philip had his eye on the future, even when so many forces within the palace seemed more committed to the past.”
He certainly had the wisdom to see that investing in young people is the best possible use of resources.
- The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
- Prince Philip’s Century: How the Queen’s Husband Fought to Modernize the Monarchy, and Why It Backfired | Vanity Fair
- Prince Philip’s Century 1921-2021, by Robert Jobson | Ad Lib
GET THEM INVOLVED:
[This piece was originally published in Medium and re-published in PMP Magazine on 11 April 2021, with the author’s consent. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]
(Cover: Flickr/Titanic Belfast. - Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Philip visit to Titanic Belfast on the historic day she shook hands with Martin McGuinness. | 27 June 2012. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)