Tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Baron Greenwich
It is with sadness but profound admiration for all that he achieved in an extraordinary life that the Greenwich Society marks the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. To us his principal title was Baron Greenwich, an honour which was bestowed on him in 1947 to mark his association with the Royal Navy, his distinguished World War 2 career and his marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth.
His connection with Greenwich remained a theme of his life through his involvement with the National Maritime Museum and the bringing of the Cutty Sark back to Greenwich and its consequent restoration. On his 80th Birthday the Greenwich Society honoured him with a dinner in the Painted Hall.
I had been given a protocol of who to introduce him to in the pre-dinner drinks and how to do so. But as he pointed out when I laboriously sought to introduce members of the Greenwich Society, the Duke said “I don’t think you need bother to say who I am, just tell me what these people do for the Society.” He could not have been a more delightful and appreciative guest, partly because through a family connection we placed him next to Morgan Morgan-Giles with whom he had served in Malta in the years between the end of the War and Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne. They had a great deal of material to catch up on.
I still remember with pride his comments in responding to the toast to our guests, that it was societies like the Greenwich Society that contributed so much to the history and tradition of our cities.
I hope that his successor as Baron Greenwich will also honour us with his presence as a guest of the Greenwich Society. I have sent a letter of condolence on behalf of the Society to HM The Queen.
Tim Barnes - Acting Chairman of Greenwich Society