Northampton pays tribute to Prince Philip
Written by Martin Steers on April 9, 2021
The community of Northampton has been paying tribute to His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on Friday morning at the age of 99.
Buckingham Palace released a statement shortly after midday on Friday, stating the Queens “deep sorrow” to announce the death of her husband, who was also the longest-serving royal consort.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the Duke “inspired the lives of countless young people”.
Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire acknowledged the news saying that it is “so very very sad – he will be incredibly missed”. Northampton South’s MP Andrew Lewer also paid tribute stating that Prince Phillip lived a “lifetime of inspiring service”.
He was born Prince Phillip of Greece on 10 June 1921 on the Island of Corfu, but Greece had not yet adopted the Georgian calendar and his birth certificate actually states his birth as 28 May 1921.
After joining the Royal Navy and getting his first experience of military action in the Indian Ocean, he became one of the youngest first lieutenants serving on board HMS Wallace.
His death comes at a time where the world is slowly getting back to a sense of normality, but still very much battling against Covid-19. This has meant that a book of condolences that would have normally been opened at the Royal & Derngate Theatre is unable to happen in-person. The theatre has stated that anyone wishing to express their condolences can share their memories by emailing [email protected] and these will be presented at a future viewing.
The local sporting clubs and organisations have also paid tribute with Northampton Town Football Club expressing their condolences to the Royal Family, while also confirming that a two-minute silence will be observed ahead of their game tomorrow at home against Bristol Rovers. This is something that is expected across sporting fixtures across the weekend.
Northampton Saints Rugby Club and Northamptonshire County Cricket Club joined the Cobbler’s in their tributes with the Saints saying that it is “Terribly sad news to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness, the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”. There was a two-minute silence observed ahead of the afternoon session in Northamptonshire’s cricket fixture against Kent.
The University of Northampton also paid tribute and their Chancellor, the Reverend Richard Coles shared a black and white picture of the Duke when he was younger along with tweeting, “Rest eternal grant unto him, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon him.”
Nick Adderley, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police offered his “deepest condolences” and announced that flags at all Northamptonshire Police stations would be flown at half-mast out of respect. Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service also added to the tributes, “We join the nation in a period of mourning and extend our condolences to the Royal Family.”
While he had moments of controversy, he was universally loved by many. Younger generations began to be captivated by him and his working ways after his portrayal in the Netflix series ‘The Crown’ with former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith originally playing the Duke in the opening two seasons.
Details for his funeral with be released shortly but it has been confirmed that he will not be having a state funeral. Due to Covid-19 regulations the funeral will be limited to 30 mourners, with the ceremonial service taking part at St George’s Chapel located at Windsor Castle.
Written by Richard Smyth
Photo by Steve Punter CC