His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99. Philip, the Queen's husband of over 70 years, passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday morning. In a statement released by Buckingham Palace,
In a statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to Philip's 'obvious joy at life, enquiring mind, and ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life'. His interests ranged from theology and philosophy to painting and bird watching. He took a particularly keen interest in conservation and inter-faith dialogue, proving to be a pioneer who was many steps ahead of his time. Justin Welby wrote that Philip 'consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service'. He added: 'The legacy he leaves is enormous'.
In over 70 years of public service, Prince Philip made an extraordinary contribution to British life. The likes of Prince Philip will not be seen again, especially in the age of social media celebrity and instant fame. His sense of duty and service were greatly admired worldwide, as was his exceptional intelligence and commitment to supporting Her Majesty the Queen throughout her 70 year reign. His 'fortitude and deep sense of commitment to serving others' were praised by Archbishop Welby, who also praised the Duke's conservation efforts and 'Duke of Edinburgh Award' scheme, which he founded in 1956. In the years since, the scheme has 'inspired generations of young people to serve others and instilled in them a vision for citizenship and a desire to serve their communities'.
The embodiment of the British values of duty, stoicism, resilience and service, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh lived an extraordinary life. He is believed to have met at least 20% of the British population, and has visited at least 143 countries worldwide. He was the Patron, President or member of hundreds of organisations, including 780 at the time of his retirement from public life, in 2017. He is survived by his wife, the Queen, his four children, eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. He leaves an extraordinary legacy of service, duty, contribution and commitment to Christian values. He stands as an extraordinary role model and inspiration for people - young and old - across the world. May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.