Prince Philip: end of an era

Years ago I ran with a crowd that had close links to the Royal family. Through my friends I got to have some amazing, royalty related, experiences.

I wish now that I had taken in more of those experiences. I wish my diaries from that time were more detailed. I wish I had listened more carefully to the stories, asked more questions. I wish I had appreciated the historical significance of some of the things I learnt then.

But, such is life. I’m grateful I have the lovely memories.

What I did know, even then, was that Royalty is in a league of its own when it comes to fame. Politicians come and go. So do celebrities. Most are reliant on passing fads. Today’s superstar is tomorrow’s ‘where are they now’ magazine filler. 

No-one will ever ask that about the Queen or her heirs. Even if, in time, the monarchy changes, its imprint is cemented for all time on Great Britain. It is a timeless institution and even with the very human problems of individual members, it is a symbol of stability, longevity and history in a world that seems ever more transient and even, at times, meaningless.

What is unique about the monarchy its enduring majesty. It has a mystique that even the biggest stars can’t compete with. If you want evidence of this, just look at the faces of major stars when they are introduced to the Queen.

Today the royal family bid farewell to Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh who, although lower in rank than his wife, was clearly the head of the family. He played a huge part in the sense of longevity and stability of the monarchy. He and the Queen were married for 73 years and knew each other for 81. That’s longer than my parents were alive on this earth. It’s a length of relationship that is unthinkable in today’s disposable culture.

I’m not sure who said this but it’s beautifully put: ‘More than a man has passed with Prince Philip. A culture, the sensibility of his time, a sturdy willingness to put your best foot forward, good manners, social graces, backbone, proper etiquette, care for each other, pride in one’s country has died with him.’

so many people have commented how much they’ve loved reading about Prince Philip and his life and times past, over the past week. I passed bye Buckingham Palace on the day his death was announced and chatted to some of the hundreds of people laying flowers. So many said the same thing; that they felt emotions they had not expected. Ultimately, they all said they felt it truly was the end of an era we will never see again.

Some of my favourite photos :