Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson has paid tribute to HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the House of Commons following the Duke’s sad death on Friday.
Joining MPs from across the political parties in remembering Prince Philip’s service and dedication to the country, Jane said she was “deeply honoured” to have the opportunity to pay her respects and to send her condolences and those of everyone in Wolverhampton to HM The Queen and the Royal Family.
Jane spoke about the Duke’s various visits to Wolverhampton throughout his decades of service. She said: “His Royal Highness visited Wolverhampton on several occasions. The earliest visit was in 1948, when he came to view industrial sites; the most recent was in 2014, with Her Majesty the Queen, to open the new Jaguar Land Rover factory in Fordhouses.
“The Duke had a keen interest in industry, innovation, engineering and conservation, and he will be remembered for his bright, curious mind, his drive and determination to get things done, and for his wonderful, quick sense of humour.”
Speaking about her own experience of meeting Prince Philip, Jane said: “I remember Prince Philip’s visit in 2009 to one of the schools I taught at, Box Hill, where he opened the new music block. This was one of over 22,000 royal engagements that Prince Philip completed. As always, this visit was carried out with genuine interest and obvious enthusiasm.
“Box Hill, like [Prince Philip’s boyhood school] Gordonstoun, was founded on the principles of Kurt Hahn, supporting young people to overcome diverse challenges, value service to others, find their talents and develop into confident young adults. From these principles came Prince Philip’s most enduring legacy, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. To measure the value and size of his legacy, we should listen to award winners speak about how the skills they learnt and the confidence they gained changed their lives and changed their life chances.”
Jane added: “To leave this world knowing we have changed even a few lives for the better should be something we all strive for. The Duke of Edinburgh leaves this world having changed millions of lives around the world for the better. His scheme will continue to change many millions more. I am so grateful to be able to put on record my thanks for the life of such an amazing man, who used his position for the benefit and service of others. Indeed this was a life well lived. May he rest in peace.”
The Duke’s funeral will be held on Saturday, following a national minute’s silence at 3pm. Jane is encouraging everyone in Wolverhampton to participate, and to also share their memories of Prince Philip by signing the official Book of Condolence on the Royal Family’s website here: https://www.royal.uk/condolence.