9 April 2021
After the announcement of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, the city of Plymouth will be paying its respects.
Flags on all Council buildings will be flown at half-mast until the day after the Duke’s Ceremonial Royal Funeral.
Floral tributes in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh can be laid on the grassed area outside St Andrew’s church and more details about books of condolence will follow in the next few days.
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had an incredibly strong connection to Plymouth, having been appointed Lord High Steward on 18 March 1960. The position of Lord High Steward goes back to 1491 and since 1762 has always been a member of the Royal Family, beginning with Prince Edward Augustus, Duke of York.
Four Princes of Wales have held the office, resigning when they became George IV, Edward VII, George V and Edward VIII. There have also been two royal dukes, the Duke of York and the Duke of Sussex and Prince Albert the Prince Consort.
Originally a position with legal responsibilities, in modern times it has become a ceremonial role with the holder having a right to the ‘Wand’ of the Lord High Steward (which is on display at the Council House) and the Duke of Edinburgh was anecdotally known to request the wand whenever he visited Plymouth.
The Duke was also the Patron of the Friends of Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery (PCMAG) who invited him to the city in 2009 to officially open four new ground floor galleries, created as part of a £1.4 million redevelopment scheme. He also returned two years later to attend the Friends’ 60th anniversary dinner at Stonehouse Barracks.
Former Chairman of the Friends of PCMAG Michael Moore was in attendance when the Duke visited in 2009 and 2011 and said:
It’s with deep sadness that we hear of the Duke’s passing. It was during the first year of the Friends' inauguration in the early 1950s when he attended the Lord Mayor’s tea party at Buckland Abbey that he accepted the invitation to be our patron. From that moment on he was a stalwart of the Friends for well over 60 years and we were always extremely grateful for his support.
During the Duke’s 2009 visit to the city he also met members of staff who worked on the Museum’s ground floor refurbishment project. Nicola Moyle, former Head of Heritage Art and Film at The Box was Head of Museums and Archives at the Museum at the time, spoke to His Royal Highness during his visit and said:
What I remember is his informality, he didn’t want lots of fuss, but he was sharp both with his questions and his wit and sense of humour.
Take a look at a series of images and archive film clips showing the Duke of Edinburgh on some of his visits to city.
Visit the Royal Family's website for details of further announcements which will be made in due course.
Header image credit
HRH Prince Philip at the 60th anniversary dinner for the Friends of PCMAG in 2011 with former Chairman, Michael Moore. Image courtesy of The Box.