New Lifeboat Is Named The Duke of Edinburgh to Honor Prince Philip's Legacy

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New Lifeboat Is Named The Duke of Edinburgh to Honor Prince Philip's Legacy
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One of the most notable facts about Prince Philip’s life, and something that was much highlighted following his death in April this year, is that he cut short his promising naval career to support his wife in her role as Queen. So, it seems particularly fitting that today it was been announced that his legacy will be honored by a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat named in his memory.

The Duke of Edinburgh is currently being built and is expected to go into service in late 2022 at Wells-next-the-Sea on the north Norfolk coast near to Sandringham. Philip spent most of his retirement on the Sandringham Estate since stepping back from royal duties in 2017. He was aware of, and supportive of, plans to name a lifeboat after him, which were originally intended to mark his 100th birthday. “It’s a great honor, not just for Wells Lifeboat Station but for the RNLI as a whole,” RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie said in a statement from the charity.

“We had hoped to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s long service and support for the maritime sector by naming a lifeboat in his honor in his 100th year. We heard that the Duke was pleased to learn of the plans to name a lifeboat after him and that it was going to be serving a community so close to Sandringham. Very sadly the Duke passed away before His Royal Highness could see it happen, but we are delighted to pay tribute to his legacy in this way today.”

Photo credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams
Photo credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams

The RNLI announced the new lifeboat exactly 71 years to the day that Philip assumed command of Royal Navy warship HMS Magpie in 1950. This was during the period that he and the then-Princess Elizabeth spent much of their time living in Malta, where the ship was based. In a nod to that moment in his career, the new lifeboat has a silver plate with a magpie engraved on it attached to it, which was done by Prince Charles earlier this summer.

Photo credit: RNLI
Photo credit: RNLI

The Queen has been Patron of the RNLI since coming to the throne in 1952, and Philip became a member of its council in 1972. RNLI volunteers provide 24-hour search and rescue across the coast of the UK and Republic of Ireland. The new lifeboat was funded by donations.

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