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Prince Philip: ‘engineers come only second to God’

The Duke of Edinburgh has said in an interview how he holds engineers in high regard, saying they come second only to God.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, The Duke of Edinburgh spoke highly of the important work of engineers as they perform an essential function, saying is hard to imagine life without them.

Prince Philip said: “everything not invented by God is invented by an engineer”. He went on to add that engineers hold the key to the future of humanity and its ability to continue to thrive on the planet.

The 94 year old prince continued: “The whole of our infrastructure, from sewers to power supplies and communication, everything that wasn’t invented by God is invented by an engineer.”

He also said that engineers help by playing a vital role by helping to solve the issues that arise as a result of the world’s increasing population.

He said: “The human population of the world is growing and is occupying more space. It’s got to be accommodated somehow or another and I think most people would like to see that it accommodates a certain amount of the natural world as well as the human world and everything we require to keep it going.

“But somehow or other that balance, to try and fit as many people onto this globe as comfortably as possible without doing too much damage, I think ultimately its going to be engineers that decide that.”

Prince Philip said he gained an interest in engineering during the war when as a young naval cadet he had to carry out basic engineering tasks. Although it wasn’t until after the war that Prince Philip realised that engineers could play a central role in society as he surveyed the damage that Britain underwent from years of conflict.

He said: “It seemed to me that the thing that really needed encouragement was manufacturing, which was always dependent on engineering, to try and recover from the war. We were completely skint, seriously badly damaged.

“It seemed to me the only way we were going to recover a sort of viability was through engineering.”

As Senior Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Prince Philip also criticised the “curious” lack of a Nobel Prize for engineering.

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