On 9 April this year, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passed away at the ripe old age of 99. Born into the Greek and Danish royal families, he joined the Royal Navy after the family fled to Britain. In 1939, Philip went to war. He wasn’t cossetted, seeing combat in several theatres, and serving on such famous warships as the Queen Elizabeth-class battleship ‘HMS Valiant’. He was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender, and continued to serve until 1952, when his wife of five years, Princess Elizabeth, ascended to the throne.
It’s often said he lived a full life, and his list of accomplishments is certainly impressive. Almost 800 organisations had him as either a patron, president or member, usually associated with the environment, industry, sport, and education. He helped found the World Wildlife Fund and served as a President of it in one form or another for many decades. He was a President of the Zoological Society of London for two decades, helped set up the Queens Award for Enterprise, the Maritime Trust, and more.
To many a polarising figure because of his ‘gaffes’, few of those people on the end of them had anything bad to say about the man, puitting his legendary lack of tact down to making people feel at ease. Married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, he was a steadfast defender of her, helping steer the Royal Family through many a dark period. Personally, I had respect for ther man. Despite some misteps, he grasped life to the full, dedicated himself to service (over 22,000 solo engagements alone!), and left behind an impressive mark on the world. I’m sure there’ll be keyboard warriors that disagree, but Philip was still doing his duty 30 years past retirement age. Few can say that.
As for the coin, it’s superb. Famed effigy artist Ian Rank Broadley is responsible for the portrait and its perfect – instantly recognisable. The rest of the coin is set aside for a simple inscription, which is well laid out and very clean and crisp. Obviously, the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II sits on the obverse, the one by Jody Clark. The range is extensive and covers 15 formats, from a £13 base metal coin, to a £147,250 2kg gold. It’s available right now, and the queues on the Royal Mint website are over 4,000 long as I write this. A sell out for sure, and a respectful and fitting tribute.