Message from the Grand President
General the Lord Richards of Herstmonceux GCB CBE DSO DL
It was with great sadness that on Friday 9th of April 2021 we received news of the death of our Past Grand President, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh KG KT. On that day I wrote on behalf of our Trustees, Council Members, Member Organisations and Headquarters staff to express our deepest sympathy to our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen and members of The Royal Family.
Between 1974 and 2015 we were extremely fortunate to have The Prince Philip as our Grand President. He succeeded his beloved uncle The Admiral of the Fleet The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who had himself been our Grand President
for 27 years.
For over forty years The Duke of Edinburgh chaired 2 meetings a year and presided over 10 Triennial Conferences in different parts of the world. In between these formal commitments, he took the closest possible interest in our work. He continued to show much interest in the Charity even after his retirement as our Grand President.
Past and present members of our Family of Nations were all greatly honoured to have the support, influence and companionship of His Royal Highness for so many years. He will be greatly missed by all our veterans in Commonwealth countries across the world.
Not all will know that it was The Duke of Edinburgh’s personal wish that The League would have the honour of providing a contingent of 50 marchers for the State Funeral Procession in London. Sadly, coronavirus restrictions meant that the London events could not take place. A far smaller, coronavirus compliant, funeral took place at Windsor Castle on Saturday 17th April. Whilst those who would have been on this historic parade were disappointed, it was a fitting farewell to our much-loved Grand President which included so many of his personal touches.
The Duke of Edinburgh would of course have wanted us to carry on our work to support those who need our help. He leaves a legacy of duty and service that all of us will strive to maintain.