The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral takes place today, Friday 16 April. Over the course of his life, Prince Philip was associated with 992 organisations, either as President, Patron, Honorary Member or in another capacity. Here are a few of their responses, including a number of funds set up in his memory.
Prince Philip was the first President of World Wildlife Fund – UK (WWF) from its formation in 1961 to 1982, and International President of WWF (later the World Wide Fund for Nature) from 1981 to 1996, and then President Emeritus of WWF until his death. The charity has set up the WWF President’s Fund for Nature to honour his conservation legacy and long-lasting commitment to WWF. Donations will support essential wildlife conservation and biodiversity around the world and will also include special bursaries for young environmentalists.
Patron too of the British Heart Foundation for almost 60 years, this charity too has set up a tribute page in his honour and the Royal Family has asked the public to consider donating to it in his memory.
Dr Charmaine Griffiths, BHF Chief Executive, said:
“Prince Philip offered steadfast support to the BHF for nearly 60 years and was a remarkable advocate for the power of research to save and improve lives from heart and circulatory diseases.
“Prince Philip’s role as our patron was one aspect of a life characterised by support for good causes and devotion to public service. His contribution will forever be remembered.”
The Royal Commonwealth Society has also expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to its Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, and Members of the Royal Family on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Dr Linda Yueh, said:
“Over the course of more than six decades, The Duke steadfastly supported The Queen in her role as Head of the Commonwealth.
“His establishment of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, which now operates in over 40 Commonwealth countries, and his founding of the Commonwealth Study Conferences and Emerging Leaders’ Dialogues, will leave a lasting and powerful legacy in the Commonwealth.”
Prince Philip was also a Life Member of The National Memorial Arboretum, part of the Royal British Legion. His first visit to the Arboretum was in July 2002, shortly after its opening, in the company of Her Majesty The Queen, as part of her Golden Jubilee tour and his last in November 2016 when he was present for the dedication of the Guinea Pig Club Memorial, and as the club’s President he unveiled the memorial. During that visit, he was given a tour of the Arboretum’s Remembrance Centre that opened two weeks prior.
The Arboretum has been among those flying the Union Jack at half-mast during the eight-day period of mourning. Black armbands have also been made available to be worn by staff.
In addition, he was Patron of Capability Scotland, and Chair of its Board of Trustees, Professor Sandy Cameron CBE and Chief Executive Brian Logan issued the following statement:
“We were all deeply saddened to learn of the death of our patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. He has been our patron for many years and we were always grateful for his support and visits to our services in the past. On behalf of our trustees, staff, customers and their families, our sincere condolences go to Her Majesty The Queen and the whole Royal Family.”
Prince Philip of course set up the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956. Almost 1.3 million young people take part in the scheme each year, and it is now in more than 130 countries and territories worldwide.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is asking for the help of the 6.7 million people across the UK who have done their DofE in creating the first-ever nationwide collection of ‘DofE memories’ in tribute to HRH Prince Philip and to inspire even more young people to take part.
The charity is asking anyone who’s been involved across the decades – from current participants and older alumni to the people who help deliver the DofE across the UK every year – to go to DofE.org and share their experiences in celebration of The Duke’s legacy.
The stories will be used to inspire more young people to start creating their own memories with DofE, and the charity will present a physical copy to the Royal Collection.
Ruth Marvel, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award said:
“The Duke’s timeless vision for young people has never been more relevant or needed. The DofE has played a crucial role in supporting young people to survive and thrive despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, and we will continue to build on his legacy.
“The Duke was a lifelong advocate for young people, believing in each individual’s potential and creating in the DofE what he saw as a ‘do-it-yourself growing up kit’. We’re honoured to continue HRH’s work, to ensure that all young people – especially those from marginalised groups – can benefit from the better educational outcomes, employment prospects, community ties and better mental health that are associated with doing DofE.”
The Duke of Edinburgh had also been Patron of the Charities Aid Foundation since 1974. It too paid tribute, saying:
“He was a respected and much loved supporter of the Charities Aid Foundation as well as hundreds of other charities and organisations. His irreplaceable and invaluable contribution to CAF and our nation will be sorely missed.”
Other charities he was Patron of included the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, where he had been Patron since 1973, having previously been President of the Trust for eight years. The charity is inviting people to make a donation in his memory, and Plan International UK.
Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK said:
“We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, who has been a long standing royal patron of Plan International UK.
“Over the years, His Royal Highness has been incredibly supportive of the work we do with young people both here in the UK and across the world. As a global children’s charity striving to give every child the same chance in life, his support has been hugely appreciated.
“Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this difficult time.”
Prince Philip is also credited with playing a role in the creation of Gift Aid with his bringing together of officials in the 1980s as part of his work with CAF said to have eventually led to the scheme. Tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg has suggested that a temporary increase in the value of Gift Aid, as well as a change to the rules would be a fitting tribute.
Mark Hart, a partner at the firm said:
“The Government should move away from the current system whereby donors opt into Gift Aid to one where they opt out if they are not a UK tax payer. This should be coupled with a temporary increase in the value of gift aid for a year to 25% of the donation so that every £1 given would be worth £1.33. This would be a fitting tribute to the work that the Duke of Edinburgh did to promote the concept of Gift Aid.”
“This would increase the amount of tax relief that could be claimed at a time when charities are struggling having suffered a year when a number of fundraising events were cancelled.”
Main image: HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in Heroes’ Square on his last visit to the National Memorial Arboretum in 2016