It is with a sense of profound sadness that we learned earlier today of the passing of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the magnificent age of 99 years. Indeed he was just two months short of his centenary, an event which we are sure everyone would have wished to see him celebrate. On behalf of the people of Clackmannanshire, we wish to extend to Her Majesty the Queen and to the entire Royal Family, our deepest condolences at what will be a very difficult time.
As well as his immeasurable contribution to the life of the country during his years of unstinting service, not least of which will be in the achievements of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, we should also remember the fact that he was very much a family man and the longest serving Consort in the history of the country. He was married to Her Majesty for over 73 years and carved out the role as Queen’s Consort in his own image and style since, as he himself said, there was no one alive who was able to give him any practical, direct advice, the previous incumbent having been Prince Albert.
His early life in the Royal Navy, including war time service, should also not be overlooked. This was a life which he loved and which he gave up to enter upon his new role as the Sovereign’s husband. He continued his Royal duties until the age of 96, long after most of us will have been only too happy to have retired from active service and it will be difficult to evaluate just what a huge contribution he made to the life and fabric of the land.