In the wake of HRH Prince Philip’s death on Friday 9 April, the nation is reflecting on his life and the many charities he supported as an honorary member or patron.
The Duke was affiliated with 992 charities, and one of his largest contributions was The Duke of Edinburgh Award, which was created in 1956 in his name.
The scheme is aimed at 14-24 years-olds, with bronze, silver and gold challenges designed to develop new skills, promote physical fitness and support both the community and the environment. The Duke remained a patron until his death and was the charity’s chairperson until his 80th birthday
Ruth Marvel, chief executive of The Duke of Edinburgh Award, spoke of how the charity is “honoured” to continue the work that he started. “The Duke’s timeless vision for young people has never been more relevant or needed.
“The Duke of Edinburgh has played a crucial role in supporting young people to survive and thrive despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, and we will continue to build on his legacy.
“The Duke was a lifelong advocate for young people, believing in each individual’s potential and creating in the DofE what he saw as a ‘do-it-yourself growing up kit’”
The Duke was also the first-ever president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which he joined from its inception in 1961, championing conservation of the planet and protection of species and their habitats.
Pavan Sukhdev, President of WWF International, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh has been a tireless champion for the environmental cause and a passionate ambassador for conservation issues around the world for decades.
“His Royal Highness helped chart the course of WWF from its very beginning and has truly made enormous contributions to the organisation.”
Book Aid International was another of the many charities to which Prince Philip gave his patronage. The charity’s mission statement is to create a world “where everyone has access to the books that will enrich, improve and change their lives”.
In response to the Duke’s death, Book Aid International released a statement on behalf of chief executive Alison Tweed, which said: “We feel incredibly lucky to have had His patronage for so long and were honoured that His Royal Highness chose to remain our patron even after his retirement,”
“I know that I am joined by our partners and readers around the world in thanking His Royal Highness for his patronage and expressing our profound sorrow at his passing.”
A book of condolence has been opened at The Royal Family website, for members of the public who wish to pay tribute to Prince Philip.