This week, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opened the Brighton i360, the world’s first vertical cable car. A tremendous feat of engineering, the car allows passengers to gain a 360-degree view of the south coast of England from a height of 450ft. Who better to open this futuristic marvel than the Duke, who has given a large part of his life to furthering the human understanding of the scientific study?
The Senior Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Prince Philip is no stranger to mechanics and machines. Earlier this year, in an article in the New Scientist, the Prince praised engineers, writing that “everything not invented by God is invented by an engineer”. This royal support has given great voice to the engineering movement and raised its profile. The Duke’s involvement in the Brighton i360 raised its media profile and introduced a different audience to the world of engineering.
It is not only for engineering that His Royal Highness is a powerful advocate, however. He was one of the first people in the world to recognise the human impact on the planet and to call for action to prevent the destruction of biodiversity. As a massively famous figure on the world stage, Prince Philip ensured that people and governments began to care about the preservation of the natural world. He took the presidency of the World Wildlife Fund, becoming an influential spokesman for conservation and biodiversity. On The Queen’s estates, the Duke has responsibility for the management of the countryside. In this, he has led the way with successful conservation methods.
Prince Philip also gives support to the ordinary people striving to protect the countryside. He has visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and praised their work in preserving wetland habitats. His Royal Highness has shown his passion for science and conservation all over the world, calling on religions to teach respect for the planet as God’s creation.
The royals are often noted for their contributions to charity, tourism, government and national pride, but their influence in intellectual study is sometimes overlooked. Everyone in the world should be glad to have such a brave and powerful advocate for science at the heart of the British Royal Family.