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ACM Home arrow Prince Philip

Prince Philip





On 6 February, 1952 the then Princess Elizabeth succeeded to the throne on the death of her father, the greatly loved King George VI.

This meant he had to give up a promising naval career. 

Prince Philip was born into the Greek Royal Family on 10 June, 1921, but his family was exiled from Greece when he was a child. He was educated in Germany and the UK.




Image


On leaving school in 1939, and without hesitation, he had joined the Royal Navy. In 1940 he graduated in 1940 from the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, the top cadet in his course.

Commissioned a midshipman, he served on the battleship HMS Ramillies, protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean.

He later served in the Mediterranean on HMS Valiant in the Battle of Crete. He was mentioned in despatches for service during the Battle of Cape Matapan, and was awarded the Greek

 War Cross of Valour.

 

Image 

 In a series of courses at Portsmouth, he gained the top grade in four out of five sections and then served in convoy escort duties  on the east coast of Britain, and then in the
invasion of Sicily. He was appointed first lieutenant of HMS Wallace and at 21, was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy. He saw service in the British Pacific
Fleet in the 27th Destroyer Flotilla, and was at Tokyo Bay when the instrument of Japanese surrender was signed.

I remember seeing him on the Royal Visit in 1954. What a superb couple they were. The young Queen, a beautiful English rose, and the handsome Greek naval officer. They
came not to exercise power, or to extract tribute, but as symbols of our oldest institution, the one which gives leadership above division and above politics.

The first consort to a Queen since Prince Albert, he has carved out a unique role for himself. A pioneer, he has probably done more to modernise the monarchy than anybody
else. One of his greatest achievements has been setting up the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme to help young people, which has been a great success across the world and
well beyond the Commonwealth. The scheme  has, as Gerald Warner says, brought meaning and fulfilment to the lives of millions of youngsters: at any time there are around
225,000 in the 14-25 age group participating. 

A conservationist well before it was fashionable, he has played a significant leadership role in the World Wild Life Fund.  He has also played a significant role in several other
organisations, including the English Speaking Union.

 He has taken up a number of causes, from British industry to the environment, and has never been afraid to speak out on issues he feels strongly about.   



...lazy journalistic campaign to caricature the Duke.... 


Sections of the British press have conducted a tedious and infantile campaign to reduce him to a caricature, as they do with other royalty, including his son and grandsons. In
Prince Philip’s case, this has involved taking obvious examples of his humour, and categorising these as “gaffes.” 

As he  told the General Dental Council in 1960: "Dentopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. I have been practising it for years."

But as Gerald Warner says  most of his supposed "gaffes" were manufactured by the media. He says what everybody thinks but which “the PC nomenklatura forbids us to utter”.

Mr Warner recalls the revelation in Adam Boulton's book Tony's Ten Years: Memoirs of the Blair Administration of his clash with the Downing Street spin doctors at the time of the
death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The “pondlife in Number 10”, as Mr. Warner puts it were attempting to hijack the funeral and, in particular, to dictate roles for Princes William and Harry. “Down the telephone line
from Balmoral thundered a classic Philippic: ‘**** off. We are talking about two boys who have lost their mother.’"

“How refreshing to hear that decent, humane voice disrupting the manipulative spin and guff that has dominated our public life for 12 years,” observes Mr. Warner.

But as we have seen some journalists have built up  a caricature of the Prince as someone who is forever "gaffe-prone." 

This then breeds a spectacularly lazy form of journalism.The lazy journalist merely asks someone what Prince Philip said, finds a witty comment  and then circulates this as the
"shock latest gaffe".

They could produce a computer programme to do this.The unfortunate result is that even fair and experienced journalists will find it difficult to ignore something which has been
artificially manufactured as newsworthy. This contrived capture of the news is something which serious journalists should consider carefully. Should they be mere tools in the
hands of people who abuse the privileges which the media enjoy for the most important reasons?  

Prince Philip is of course a more substantial person than the caricature the media presents. But some journalists never let the truth get in the way of a headline. The public see
through this robotic campaign and recognize Prince Philip for the formidable man he is.

 

 



IRA plot against Prince Philip Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 09 March 2014
An IRA plot to murder Prince Philip in Sydney has been revealed by a former military intelligence officer and news reporter, Warner Russell.
 
This was in 1973, at the height of the Irish Republican Army bombing campaign in Britain, reports Warren Gibbs in The Sunday Telegraph 9 March 2014.

  IRA terrorists subsequently murdered two young Australians in the Netherlands.   In 1999, the IRA leader came to Australia to campaign for a Yes vote in the republican campaign. (The ARM ignored ACM's call to distance themselves from him)

In 1979 Prince Philip's uncle,  Lord Mountbatten, along with three other people, including a grandson Nicholas, was assassinated by the IRA, who planted a bomb in his fishing boat

 
 
 
Photo: An IRA plot to murder Prince Philip in Sydney has been revealed by a former military intelligence officer and news reporter, Warner Russell.  This was in 1973, at the height of the Irish Republican Army bombing campaign in Britain, reports Warren Gibbs in The Sunday Telegraph 9 March 2014.  IRA terrorists subsequently murdered two young Australians in the Netherlands.   In 1999, the IRA leader came to Australia to campaign for a Yes vote in the republican campaign. (The ARM ignored ACM's call to distance themselves from him) A report about two bombs, as well as two decoy bombs, being detected appeared in The New York Times on 16 March 1973. Local reporting in Australia was suppressed under a security "D" notice .   Twenty four  hours before the discovery of the bombs, Mr. Russell  had received an anonymous phone death threat against the Prince while he was working on the news desk. A caller with a “guttural voice” told him: “We are going to get that Greek bastard, the Duke. He is a dead man.” Mr Russell said: “I immediately informed the Special Branch as well as my own intelligence contact Lt Colonel Tim Swift at Victoria Barracks in Paddington. “I was told the threat was credible and of the likely involvement of the IRA.”  [The image is from the 1954 Tour when the Queen and Prince Philip arrived at Government House  Brisbane]
 
A report about two bombs, as well as two decoy bombs, being detected appeared in The New York Times on 16 March 1973. Local reporting in Australia was suppressed under a security "D" notice . 

 Twenty four hours before the discovery of the bombs, Mr. Russell had received an anonymous phone death threat against the Prince while he was working on the news desk.

 A caller with a “guttural voice” told him: “We are going to get that Greek bastard, the Duke. He is a dead man.”

Mr Russell said: “I immediately informed the Special Branch as well as my own intelligence contact Lt Colonel Tim Swift at Victoria Barracks in Paddington. I was told the threat was credible and of the likely involvement of the IRA.”
 

                   [The image is from the 1954 Tour when the Queen and Prince Philip arrived at Government House Brisbane]
 
Prince Phillip meets soldiers Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Saturday, 01 March 2014
 
 

The Duke of Edinburgh visited First Battalion Grenadier Guards at Lille Barracks, in Aldershot. Published by ITN on 24 Feb 2014

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Mother in Law of The Queen Print E-mail
Written by Professor David Flint AM   
Sunday, 05 May 2013

 When Walter Bagehot famously said “Royalty is a Government in which the attention of the nation is concentrated on one person doing interesting actions,” he overlooked the attraction of other members of the Royal Family. The interest in royalty continues unabated.

SBS will be broadcasting “The Queen’s Mother in Law”  the almost unknown story Princess Alice, the mother of Prince Philip is detailed in this documentary which The Sun Herald’s critic Melinda Houston described   as “fabulous...everything about a truly remarkable woman. Fascinating from beginning to end.”   

The programme can be seen nationally on SBS1 at 8.30pm on Friday 10 May.  Here is an excellent video about this truly remarkable woman who was honoured in Israel and Britain for her resistance to the Nazis.

 
Prince Phillip visits Canada for the Battle of York Commemoration Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Monday, 29 April 2013

Prince Phillip  visited Toronto to honor the Royal Canadian Regiment on the 200th anniversary of the Battle of York in the War of 1812.

His Royal Highness presented the regiment with a new regimental flag  to commemorate the Battle of York in the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States.

 

 

 
Prince Philip's 91st Diamond Jubilee Birthday Print E-mail
Written by ACM   
Sunday, 10 June 2012
As he leaves hospital, we wish Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a very happy 91st birthday in this Diamond Jubilee Year.



ImageHe was born into the Greek Royal Family on 10 June, 1921, but his family was exiled from Greece when he was a child. He was educated in Germany and the UK.

Image


...service...




From his youngest years, the Duke’s life has been about service. In 1939, he left school and immediately enlisted in the Royal Navy.

Commissioned a midshipman, he served on the battleship HMS Ramillies, protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean.

He later served in the Mediterranean on HMS Valiant in the Battle of Crete. He was mentioned in despatches for service during the Battle of Cape Matapan, and was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour

In a series of courses at Portsmouth, he gained the top grade in four out of five sections and then served in convoy escort duties on the east coast of Britain, and then in the invasion of Sicily. He was appointed first lieutenant of HMS Wallace and at 21, was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy. He saw service in the British Pacific Fleet in the 27th Destroyer Flotilla, and was at Tokyo Bay when the instrument of Japanese surrender was signed.He later courted and married the then Princess Elizabeth later Queen Elizabeth.

This video report last year by the leading broadcaster ITN summarises some memorable moments.

 




...golden couple...

 

 

 

I first saw him with The Queen in 1954. A golden couple, they radiated all of the great virtues and strengths which a Royal couple should.

Australians across our vast nation saw that, and for those who would today denigrate the nation as it was then, those who were adults had fought two world wars, suffered through a depression and built a nation - including much of the infrastructure which we enjoy today and which we seem incapable to add to in any significant way.

As consort, Prince Philip has contributed to the community in Britain, the Commonwealth and beyond over a wide variety of fields including various sports, in conservation where he has been a significant force , in various charities for the disadvantaged and other worthy causes including his overwhelmingly successful award scheme and in the promotion of the English language.



...caricature journalism...



But for many years now he has been the target of elements within the British media. There is a disgracefully lazy form of journalism. It involves making a well-known public person, preferably a member of the Royal family, a caricature.So they have created a caricature of the Prince as someone who is forever "gaffe-prone."

The lazy journalist merely asks someone what Prince Philip said, finds a witty comment and then circulates this as the "shock latest gaffe". They could produce a computer programme to do this. Of course Prince Philip is a much more substantial person than the caricature portrayed in too much of the media.



...a media tribute last year...



“The colossal importance of the Duke of Edinburgh, who celebrates his 90th birthday next week, is that he has defied the spirit of his time,” writes Peter Oborne in the London Daily Telegraph (“The Duke of Edinburgh at 90: Prince Philip’s exemplary life can be an inspiration to all of us,” 2 June 2011) .

“This is why, for most of his adult life, he has been forced to endure such hostility and contempt. In the 1960s, satirists portrayed him as a member of a bankrupt establishment.

“The state socialists who ran Britain in the 1970s despised the Duke as a symbol of ruling-class domination.
“The New Right that came to power in the 1980s could not understand him at all. He was not for sale, he was not efficient, and he was not driven by the profit motive, yet he could not really be classified as part of the public sector. He appeared to have no purpose.”




...nastiest period ...



Peter Oborne sees the 1990s as ‘one of the nastiest periods in all British history’, producing a new breed of publicist ‘whose special expertise was presenting greed and self-interest as a form of public virtue.’

During this period British public life was under vicious and sustained attack, and in the front line of this was the Royal family. For those too cautious personally to target the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh made an admirable proxy.”

“Try this in a Daily Mirror editorial: ‘You are an arrogant, over-bearing, insensitive, tactless, patronising, boorish, out of touch and now sickening fool.’ For the Sun he was a ‘75-year-old aristocrat who is totally detached from reality.’

“Alastair Campbell, later to be Tony Blair’s press officer, labelled him “crass” and the Royal family “thick”.“ Blairite columnist Anne McElvoy, writing in the Independent: 'Prince Philip, whose mind remains steeped in the casually ignorant racialism of his youth, is beyond redemption and can only be regarded as an asset on the days he is kept indoors.

“Elsewhere he was described as 'wholly out of touch with contemporary life and thought'.

“Attacks like these, which were led by the foreign-owned Sun, which made little secret of its desire to destroy the British monarchy, were common currency.

“But they were sanctioned by mainstream politicians. For example, the Liberal Democrat grandee Menzies Campbell, who is by no means as nice a man as he appears, exploited one press convulsion to damn the Duke as ‘entirely out of touch with public opinion’.

"It was as if the Duke of Edinburgh was not a human being. He was fair game for any kind of verbal brutality.

“Mercifully, these assaults on his humanity have become rare as he has grown older, though the Guardian three years ago published an insulting and impudent article that labelled the Duke as a ‘homophobe and a misogynist’ and concluded that he was a 'disappointed man' who ‘covered his helplessness and anger with the rough-hewn mask of arrogance...”





...Happy Birthday..




The response to all sniping from the unworthy - who have probably not attained one tenth of the achievements of the Prince - has been “to get on with it.”

From his war service to his many achievements he has done this and he has done it well.

It is typical of him that his ninety first birthday should be an ordinary working day. So we say Happy Birthday, noble Prince...and may there be many more.

 
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