The President, Chairman, Trustees, Club Secretary/CEO and staff join all VSC members and their families across the UK, Commonwealth and our Allies in great sadness at the news of the death today of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
We all extend our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and all members of the Royal Family while expressing our gratitude for Prince Philip’s remarkable service to Her Majesty, this country and the Commonwealth.
Our association with HRH The Prince Philip lasted 63 of our 114 years, from 1949 to 2012, beginning with a visit on 26 April 1949 with, then, HRH The Princess Elizabeth, and coming to an end only when HRH was succeeded by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as our Patron-in-Chief in 2012.
On 5 November 1954, Prince Philip honoured the Club by laying the foundation stone of the new Memorial Wing, an event covered by the BBC in its television and radio news programmes. HRH then graciously consented in 1957 to accept the office of Patron-in-Chief of the Association and Club, a duty he undertook with great interest, warmth and humour for over 50 years.
The Club valued greatly this long and successful association. HRH The Prince Philip offered tremendous support to our aims and objectives. This included, for example, the note in December 2005 which encouraged support for our appeal for the funds required to enable the refurbishment of the Centenary Wing.
On 15 November 2007, HRH visited the Club for a double celebration: the Club’s Centenary, and HRH’s 50 years as Patron-in-Chief. HRH then returned in 2009 to open the completed facilities.
Prince Philip visited the Club many times over seven decades Our photographic archive tells a story of engagement and fun. The following are some of our favourites to enjoy as we remember HRH with considerable gratitude and affection.
The Club’s Visitors’ Book includes Prince Philip’s signature on nine occasions: 4 March 1958; 22 February 1980; 12 March 1987; 16 February 1993; 20 May 1997; 13 November 2003; 25 October 2006; 15 November 2007; and 13 May 2009.
Air Cdre (Ret’d) Nigel Beet CBE