Worcester’s MP has paid tribute to HRH the late Duke of Edinburgh and recalled his visit to the faithful city during the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012 to open the Hive. The Worcester MP, Robin Walker has spoken of his three meetings with the Prince Philip and how he always showed a dynamism, wit and kindness.
As Parliament sits today for tributes to be paid to an incredible man at the end of a long and fruitful life, Robin has pointed out how his desire to give young people the best chance in life leaves a lasting legacy. Speaking after the sad news of the Duke Of Edinburgh’s passing, Robin Walker MP said:
“This has been an extraordinary life well lived. As a war hero in the Navy, as the world and our country’s longest living consort to a Queen, as the rock of support for our longest serving monarch in her duties at home and around the world and as a dutiful member of the Royal Family, Prince Philip has made an incredible contribution to our country, to the Commonwealth and its history over well over seventy five years of public service.
“For any individual to live to ninety nine and to keep working into their nineties is remarkable but for someone who has bourne such a burden of public service is even moreso. As we heard the sad news of his passing my first thoughts were with her Majesty the Queen for whom he has been such a source of strength. I know that my constituents across the faithful city will be thinking of the Royal Family and all his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren as we join them in mourning.”
“I was very lucky to have met the Duke on a number of occasions and on each he had the capability to light up a room. I first met him when I was a small child of eight or nine at the Royal Welsh show when my father was Secretary of State for Wales, I had been carefully primed to address him as your Royal Highness but in the excitement of the moment I completely forgot to do so. He was charm personified and made no fuss but joked with me in such a friendly matter that I was immediately put at ease. Many years later I was invited as newly elected MP to a palace garden party at Buckingham Palace and he was again laughing and joking all the way around the visitors there, I told him that my office was in Old Scotland Yard and he explained that it took its name from where the Kings of Scotland used to stay on their visits to London, then joked “and sometimes we let them go again afterwards”. The third time and the most special was during the diamond jubilee year when he and the Queen came to Worcester to open the Hive. Everyone who met him that day attested to a larger than life personality, a great charm and an immediate wit, focused on putting people at their ease. I now realise more than ever what an incredible privilege it was to be presented both to the sovereign and to such a remarkable man who has been her strength and support. I also know from my work in Northern Ireland that so many places all over our United Kingdom have fond memories of his visits.”
“The whole country owes this extraordinary man a debt of gratitude for his service but also for his remarkable legacy. His creation of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme for young people has created so many memorable experiences and done so much to support young people in undertaking volunteering, learning about the great outdoors and building character and resilience. In a very real way his legacy will live beyond him in so many lives enhanced and people inspired. Whilst as a Minister of State, I will not have the opportunity to speak in today’s commons debate, I am looking forward to hearing the tributes from the Prime Minister and others who speak today and I consider it a privilege to have served in the Government and the Parliament of the second Elizabethan age that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has done so much to shape.”