ITV‘s hour long documentary this week looked at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in its Diamond Jubilee year. With unique access to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, the documentary gave a rare insight into Prince Philip’s utter dedication to young people. We saw the Duke at his very best, cheerful and bursting with dry wit. It is clear to see how he manages to motivate and empower people from very different backgrounds.
Leaving the incorrect manner in which Phillip Schofield addressed members of The Royal Family aside- I am still recovering from the indignity of the Duchess of Cambridge being called ‘Kate Middleton’ on prime-time television- the documentary was a wonderful portrait of a man who has devoted his life to public service.
Joanna Lumley paid tribute to Prince Philip saying, “He is an extraordinary character. He rides, sails, drives horses, fishes and swims and does stuff. He really could have been James Bond.” It is true that only a character as interesting as the Duke could have made the awards scheme the success it has been.
His own physical and mental prowess have inspired generations of people to venerate the awards. Calling the Duke ‘Commander Bond’, Joanna Lumley spoke with deep affection for the steadfast prince. It is an affection which we must all surely share.
If you have not seen the documentary, I implore you to watch it.
The Duke’s natural wit and dry humour have given life to official engagements throughout The Queen’s reign. He has always been two steps behind Her Majesty, diffusing awestruck wonder with a brusque quip. It is mightily touching to see Prince Philip ushering over children (who would otherwise miss their chance) to present The Queen with flowers. He has a dedication to young people and wants to make their lives better. His awards scheme has given opportunities to thousands of young people and taught important life skills to generations. Without the Duke’s hard work, the world, and let us remember that the DofE is a worldwide scheme, would be a much duller place for young people.