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PRINCE PHILIP – 1921 - 2021

Born at the family home on Corfu on 10 June 1921, Philip was the

youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece, an officer

in the Greek army, and Princess Alice of Battenberg. The family fled

when his father was charged with high treason in the aftermath of

the heavy defeat of the Greeks by the Turks. They were evacuated

in a British warship, with one-year-old Philip being carried in a

makeshift cot fashioned from an orange box.

He had an unsettled and peripatetic childhood. His parents

separated; his father settling in Monte Carlo where he amassed

significant gambling debts, and his mother, who was deaf, going on

to found an order of nuns before becoming depressed and being

admitted to an asylum. He later said of his family’s break-up: “I just

had to get on with it. You do. One does.”

During the War, as the searchlight control officer on the battleship

HMS Valiant, he was mentioned in dispatches in 1941 for his role in

the Battle of Matapan against the Italian fleet. His wartime service

also saw him present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in

1945. Distantly related to the Queen – they were third cousins –

their paths crossed several times before he became a serious suitor

in 1946, though she was said to have fallen in love with him when

she was 13. Married in 1947, he continued his naval duties on the

Island of Malta, where the Princess Elizabeth enjoyed being a naval

wife. He relinquished his promising naval career on the accession to

the throne of Princess Elizabeth in 1952.

Though never officially given the title of prince consort, he lived a

life of relentless royal duty. He immersed himself wholeheartedly in

national life, carving out a unique public role. He was the most

energetic member of the royal family with, for many decades, the

busiest engagements diary.

He set about modernising a monarchy he feared could end up as a

museum piece. It was at his instigation that the practice of

presenting debutantes at court was abolished in 1958. He initiated

informal palace lunches to which guests from a variety of

backgrounds were invited. Garden parties were broadened. He

chaired the Way Ahead Group – composed of leading royal family

members and their advisers – to analyse and avert criticism of the


The Queen, who deferred to him in private, would say:

“What does Philip think?” on any major matter concerning the royal

household. Big decisions, including her finally agreeing to pay tax

on her private income, the abolition of the royal yacht Britannia,

and her letter to Charles and Diana suggesting an early divorce,

were taken after consultation with the duke, according to insiders.

He had a keen interest in religion and conservation. In 1961, he

became president of the World Wildlife Fund UK. Industry, science

and nature were other passions. From the outset he took a keen

interest in young people through the Duke of Edinburgh Award,

which he launched in 1956, inspired by his school days, and

organisations such as the National Playing Fields Association and

the Outward Bound Trust. He played polo until, in 1971, injury

forced him to retire, after which he took up four-in-hand carriage

driving – a coach with four horses - which he continued to compete

in at international level well into his 80s. He was a qualified pilot

and an accomplished sailor.

Describing her reliance on him, the Queen said in a speech to

celebrate their golden wedding in 1997: “He is someone who

doesn’t take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been

my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family,

and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he

would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”

✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

God has shone in our hearts

to give the light of the knowledge of his glory

in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels

to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

As we acknowledge our human frailty, we call to mind our sins.

I confess to almighty God

that I have greatly sinned,

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done

and in what I have failed to do,

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary


all the Angels and Saints,

to pray for me to the Lord our God.

Kyrie, eleison.

Christe, eleison.

Kyrie, eleison.

May God our Father forgive us our sins

and bring us to the eternal joy of his kingdom,

where dust and ashes have no dominion. Amen.

The Collect: Merciful Father and Lord of all life, we praise you

that we are made in your image and reflect your truth and light.

We thank you for the life of His Royal Highness

Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,

for the love he received from you and showed among us.

Above all, we rejoice at your gracious promise to all your servants,

living and departed, that we shall rise again at the coming of Christ.

And we ask that in due time we may share with your servant Philip

that clearer vision promised to us in the same Christ our Lord;

who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, world without end. Amen.


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,

‘therefore I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,

to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly

for the salvation of the Lord.

For the Lord will not reject for ever.

Although he causes grief, he will have compassion

according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone.

The word of the Lord.


R. My help shall come from the Lord who made heaven and earth.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains:

from where shall come my help?

My help shall come from the Lord

who made heaven and earth. (R.)

May he never allow you to stumble!

Let him sleep not, your guard.

No, he sleeps not nor slumbers,

Israel’s guard. (R.)

The Lord is your guard and your shade;

at your right side he stands.

By day the sun shall not smite you

nor the moon at night. (R.)

The Lord will guard you from evil,

he will guard your soul.

The Lord will guard your going and coming

both now and for ever. (R.)



So we do not lose heart.

Even though our outer nature is wasting away,

our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us

for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure,

because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen;

for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed,

we have a building from God, a house not made with hands,

eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan,

longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling—

if indeed, when we have taken it off we will not be found naked.

For while we are still in this tent, we groan under our burden,

because we wish not to be unclothed but to be further clothed,

so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.

The word of the Lord.


Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.

Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,

and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,

and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away;

for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will,

but the will of him who sent me.

And this is the will of him who sent me,

that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me,

but raise it up on the last day.

This is indeed the will of my Father,

that all who see the Son and believe in him

may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.’


I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation

he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Eternal God, our heavenly Father, we bless your holy name for

all that you have given us in and through the life of Philip,

Duke of Edinburgh. We give you thanks: for his long and full

life; for his strength of character; and for his devotion and

service to family, nation and Commonwealth.

Let us bless the Lord.

For our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, and all the Royal

Family; for the ministers of the Crown and all who bear the

privilege and burden of government: Let us bless the Lord.

As we mourn the death of Prince Philip, let us give thanks to

God in faith and trust. For the gift of Christ Jesus and for all

whose devotion to him has sustained the life of our Church

and nation: Let us bless the Lord.

For all people touched by the Duke of Edinburgh’s

devotion to public service: Let us bless the Lord.

For our own lives, giving thanks for all who have gone before,

and asking that we might go forward with confidence

and hope: Let us bless the Lord.

We praise you for the encouragement he gave to so many,

especially to the young. Let us bless the Lord.

May the prayers of Mary,

the Mother of God,

who stood by the cross

as her Son was dying,

assist those who mourn.

Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee,

blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit

of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death.

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shades lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over and our work is done; then

Lord, in your mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.

Let us lift up our hearts.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him our thanks and praise.

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation,

always and everywhere to give you thanks,

Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God,

through Christ our Lord.

In him the hope of blessed resurrection has dawned,

that those saddened by the certainty of dying,

might be consoled by the promise of immortality to come.

Indeed for your faithful, Lord, life is changed not ended,

and, when this earthly dwelling turns to dust,

an eternal dwelling is made ready for them in heaven.

And so, with Angels and Archangels,

with Thrones and Dominions,

and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,

we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of thy glory.

Glory be to thee, O Lord most high!

Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come, thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power

and the glory are yours, now and for ever.


In union, blessed Jesus,

with the faithful gathered at every altar of your Church

where your blessed Body and Blood are offered this day,

and remembering particularly my own parish

and those who are worshipping there today.

I long to offer you praise and thanksgiving,

for creation and all the blessings of this life,

for the redemption won for us by your life, death, and resurrection,

for the means of grace and the hope of glory.

And particularly for the blessings given me….

I believe that you are truly present in the Holy Sacrament,

and, since I cannot at this time receive communion,

I pray you to come into my heart.

I unite myself with you

and embrace you with all my heart, my soul, and my mind.

Let nothing separate me from you;

let me serve you in this life until, by your grace,

I come to your glorious kingdom and unending peace. Amen

PRAYER Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip,

for his loyalty and service to our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth,

and to our nation. May all who have passed from this life,

through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

Our Lady of Walsingham and Mother of God,

come to share your Eternal Glory, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE BLESSING God grant to the living, grace; to the departed, rest;

to the Church, the Queen, the Commonwealth,

and all humanity, peace and concord;

and to us and all his servants, life everlasting;

and may the blessing of Almighty God,

the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit

come down upon us, and remain with us for ever. Amen.

Our Lady, Star of the Sea


Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven! Alleluia.

He whom thou wast meet to bear, alleluia.

As he promised, hath arisen, alleluia.

Pour for us to him thy prayer, alleluia.

Rejoice and be glad,

O Virgin Mary, alleluia!

For the Lord is risen indeed, alleluia!

Let us pray. O God, who through the resurrection of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ didst vouchsafe to give joy to the world: grant, we beseech thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary,

we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us go forth in peace.

Thanks be to God.

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