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Date Completed: 06/12/2021
Bookshelf: eBook Subscription
It was only a few months ago now that we received the unfortunate news of the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh; consort to Queen Elizabeth, founder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award programme, patron of countless organizations, and someone that has attended tens of thousands of public engagements in his lifetime for the benefit of the Commonwealth nations of the world. In the aftermath of his passing I watched his deliberately modest funeral to hear the things commentators were saying, and to read this book in an attempt to more fully understand his legacy. Nothing came as a surprise or disrupted my preconceptions of the type of man Prince Philip was, but the extra detail provided in this book convinced me even more that he was an exemplar for all of us in many ways. Certainly there are those that will disagree with me for any number of reasons, but I’ll ask those to suspend what might be shallow judgements of his gaffes and banter as I make a case for the reasons I make this claim.
The first thing that stood out for me from Prince Philip’s character was his work ethic.
The next thing standing out for me has been the Duke of Edinburgh’s focus on outcomes/objectives, rather than self-promotion or personal benefit.
I came away from this read with a reinforced sense of the values that Prince Philip lived and espoused throughout his life. He undoubtedly lived a very long life of service to Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Queen’s other realms. This included his military career, founding of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, his role in founding the World Wildlife Foundation, and literally hundreds of other patronages and memberships, in addition to his very personal dedicated support to his wife and family. He didn’t mince words, he put his foot in his mouth a number of times, but he was modest, self-effacing, deeply committed to his family, and tried to make everyone he came into contact with feel at ease. He is perhaps most commonly summed up characteristically as someone that “just got on with it.”