Vale HRH the Duke of Edinburgh
On behalf of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and The Royal Family on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
The funeral of His Royal Highness is being held today at the St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
He passed away on 9 April after a life of unwavering service to the Commonwealth and Her Majesty the Queen.
His Royal Highness visited Australia 20 times – more than any other member of the Royal Family. He held the following honorary ranks in the Australian Defence Force: Admiral of the Fleet – Royal Australian Navy, Field Marshal – Australian Army, and Marshal of the Royal Australian Air Force.
A veteran of the Second World War, Prince Philip was commissioned as a midshipman in the Royal Navy in 1940 and was posted to the battleship HMS Ramillies, which escorted Australian troop convoys in the Indian Ocean.
While serving on the battleship HMS Valiant, he took part in the Battle of Crete and was mentioned in dispatches for his skill in controlling Valiant’s searchlights during the Battle of Cape Matapan, in which the Italian fleet was decisively defeated.
He saw action elsewhere in the Mediterranean, and in the Pacific, and was praised for his resourcefulness and quick-thinking.
Prince Philip remained in the Navy after the war and married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947. In 1950, he was promoted to lieutenant commander and given command of the frigate HMS Magpie. However, soon afterwards he resigned his commission to support Princess Elizabeth in her royal duties.
He devoted himself to this role for nearly 70 years, only retiring from public life in 2017 at the age of 96. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He was a veteran who never ceased serving his community.
May he rest in peace.
Liz Cosson AM CSC
Secretary of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs