Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Uttoxeter Echo.
On Friday 9th April His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, sadly passed away at the age of 99. He lived an extraordinary life. Born in Greece, he began his education in France before coming to England at the age of seven and eventually, as a teenager, becoming a cadet at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. It was here that he first met the young Princess Elizabeth sparking one of the most remarkable love stories of our generation.
When Princess Elizabeth became Queen he put aside his naval career and gave his wholehearted support to his wife, and so began a lifetime of unwavering service to our Nation and to our Monarch.
He carved out a new role for himself which saw the creation of one of his most remarkable achievements, The Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme. It was the Duke’s concern for the welfare of young people that resulted in the launch of this incredibly successful scheme in 1956. It is still relevant today, transforming the lives of millions of young people and continuing to empower and equip them with skills that help them get the most out of life. A look at the memories shared on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards website shows just how many lives the scheme has touched and what a fitting tribute it is for a public figure who was also a devoted family man.
Prince Philip visited Uttoxeter several times. In 1981 he presented a Queen’s Award for Export Achievement to JCB Service. His most recent visit was in 1995 when he and the Queen visited JCB’s World Headquarters in Rocester to mark its 50th Birthday, and his legacy also lives on in the young people of Uttoxeter through Thomas Alleyne’s High School which encourages its pupils to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme.
He was a much-loved public figure but above all else he was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who will be hugely missed. My thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen, and all the family, at this very sad time.