her strength and stay

By now the solemn news of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has circulated around the globe with many, including, of course, the Royal Family, politicians, celebrities and everyday people expressing their sadness and condolences for the passing of His Royal Highness (HRH).

Instagram @kensingtonroyal
I was Facetiming with J, when the news flashed up on my phone last night and was like: ‘Oh my god! Prince Philip has died.’

While admittedly I’m not a huge Royal follower – although I do remember watching Princess Diana’s heart-wrenching funeral, Kate and William’s wedding and Harry and Meghan’s wedding (and I did write about Harry and Meghan’s recent pregnancy announcement … and I did watch their interview with Oprah … hmmm) – I have found myself truly saddened for Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.

She has lost the love of her life – they have lost their father and grandfather.

The Royal Family released the following statement on their official website following the passing:

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning [9 April 2021] at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Her “strength and stay”

While The Duke is known for his passionate involvement in a number of charities and patronages what stands out to me the most is his relationship with and dedication to The Queen – his wife.

And perhaps this is because I feel I have met the love of my life in J – I feel heartbroken for Her Majesty and the devastating loss she must be feeling right now.

According to the Royal Family’s website, “The Duke of Edinburgh was devoted consort (companion to the Sovereign) for [more than] 60 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952, until his death”.

In a speech to mark their golden wedding anniversary – their 50th wedding anniversary – The Queen said:

“He has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years.”

Her Majesty The Queen.
The Queen loved him. And he loved her. And while they had so many years together it still makes this that much more heartbreaking – the loss of the one who has been by your side, constantly, over the years.

The Royal Family’s website states that “in September 1952, shortly after her Accession to the throne, The Queen granted Prince Philip ‘place, pre-eminence and precedence’ next to herself, a position normally reserved for the Heir to the Throne – and on 22 February 1957 she created him a Prince of the United Kingdom so that his title was from then on His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh”.

See. She LOVED him. #welp

The website continues that his duties aside, “The Duke of Edinburgh always maintained that his first duty was to support The Queen”.

And he LOVED her. #passmethetissuesplease

That, friends, is love. And now love, and loss.

For more about their marriage and family life, visit: royal.uk/marriage-and-family

The Duke of Edinburgh

OK. I have a confession to make:

I was today-years-old when I finally realised that the DofE [The Duke of Edinburgh] Award that we had in high school – that was awarded to many of my classmates who decided that going camping in the middle of winter was a good idea – Prince Philip was the Founder and Patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh of the award. Mind. Blown.

Anyhoo.

The DofE (Duke of Edinburgh) statement, as published on their website reads:

“Sixty-five years ago, HRH Prince Philip established The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

“It is with great sadness that The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation acknowledges the death of Founder and Patron, HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.”

Books of Condolence

So, no matter what your opinion might be of the Royal Family or of Prince Philip – yes, he did say some pretty controversial (*cough* at times racist) things in his time – the loss of a loved one – of a life that, maybe despite its perceived shortcomings, was ultimately dedicated to the service of others – is heart wrenching and deserves dignity and respect.

For those who are so inclined, the Royal Family has said that “during the current public health situation, Books of Condolence will not be available for the public to sign”, but you can still send a message to the Royal Family “via the online Book of Condolence” by visiting: royal.uk/books-condolence

x G.

BBC News

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