His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh

Published on: May 2021

Record: HANSARD-1323879322-117041


His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh

Debate resumed from 5 May 2021.

Mr ROB STOKES (PittwaterMinister for Planning and Public Spaces) (09:48:09):

— I make a contribution to the condolence motion for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip served our Crown and our Commonwealth for nearly 80 years—all of his life but specifically in his capacity as the Queen's consort. Together Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, in particular, put issues of the environment on the global agenda. He was a lifelong advocate for the environment, perhaps before his time. He was a man known for his plain speaking. He once noted that if nature does not survive, neither will mankind, which is a sentiment I share. It was a suggestion from Prince Philip that led to the Australian Conservation Foundation's creation in the 1970s.

After a visit to Australia in the 1970s, Prince Philip penned a letter to then Prime Minister Gough Whitlam expressing his personal views on conservation in Australia at the time. He was vocal about the Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu, Fraser Island and many of our country's other natural wonders. Globally he was involved in the creation of the World Wildlife Fund, of which he served as president from 1981 until 1996. I had the profound pleasure of meeting him at Government House many years ago. Prince Philip provided an example of service, self‑sacrifice and humanity to everyone in Australia, the Commonwealth and around the world. On behalf of the community of Pittwater, I express our sympathies to the royal family.

Dr GEOFF LEE (ParramattaMinister for Skills and Tertiary Education, and Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans) (09:50:12):

— On Friday 9 April we learnt of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness will be remembered for his remarkable legacy as patron, president and supporter of hundreds of organisations and also as a veteran who served his country at war. Prince Philip had a rich and varied career in the Royal Navy. With a deep passion for naval history and seafaring, Prince Philip's Royal Navy career began at age 17 when he attended Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. It was there that he famously escorted a then 13‑year‑old Princess Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, when their parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, visited Dartmouth.

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After eight months of training, Prince Philip departed Dartmouth at the beginning of 1940 and was awarded the King's Dirk and the Eardley Howard Crocket prize for best cadet of his entry. From Dartmouth he joined the battleship HMS  in the Indian Ocean as a midshipman, escorting troops from Australia to Egypt, before joining cruisers HMS and in the Asia‑Pacific region. In January 1941 Prince Philip joined the battleship HMS  in Alexandria, Egypt. During night action off Cape Matapan he was in charge of the ship's searchlight control. For those efforts he was mentioned in dispatches for "bravery and enterprise" which "greatly contributed to the devastating results achieved" by the guns.

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Having qualified for a promotion to sub lieutenant, he returned to the United Kingdom and, after taking a series of technical courses, was appointed to the destroyer HMS  based at Rosyth, for convoy escort duties on the east coast. At the beginning of 1942 he joined HMS and spent most of the year escorting coastal convoys off the east coast of the UK before the ship dispatched to the Mediterranean to support the invasion of Sicily in July 1943. His commanding officers praised Prince Philip's practical seamanship skills, high intellect, good judgement, strong character, zeal and great charm. He was described as an "officer of unusual promise" and it was predicted he would "make his mark in the service".

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Prince Philip's next seagoing appointment was as first lieutenant—second in command—of the new destroyer HMS , which sailed to the Indian Ocean for the final year of the war with Japan as part of the British Pacific Fleet. Aboard HMS , Prince Philip was present in Tokyo Bay in September 1945 for the formal Japanese surrender, the last act of the Second World War. The destroyer finally returned to the UK in January 1946, having helped with the repatriation of Allied servicemen. Prince Philip spent the next three‑and‑a‑half years ashore at various naval establishments, helping to train petty officers and new sailors joining from civvy street as well as studying at the Royal Naval Staff College in Greenwich, interspersed with his marriage to Princess Elizabeth in November 1947.

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Prince Philip, now the Duke of Edinburgh, was appointed first lieutenant of HMS in 1949, the leader of the First Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet. After being promoted to lieutenant commander in July 1950 Prince Philip was given his first seagoing command, 11 years after joining the Royal Navy. He commanded the anti‑submarine frigate HMS from September 1950 until July 1951, taking her to a number of ports around the Mediterranean. The Duke of Edinburgh ended his active naval career as a commander in January 1953, after almost 14 years, after which he was promoted to honorary Admiral of the Fleet and given the title of Captain General of the Royal Marines, a position he held until December 2017.

Other titles bestowed upon him during the period of transition from service to royal life included Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps, Colonel‑in‑Chief of the Army Cadet Force and Air Commodore‑in‑Chief of the Air Training Corps. His longstanding contribution of more than eight decades was recognised in June 2011 when the Queen conferred the title and office of Lord High Admiral upon him on his ninetieth birthday. In August 2017 Prince Philip reviewed a parade by the Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace; it was most appropriate that this was his final public engagement. I acknowledge the Royal Navy and the Naval Historical Branch for such a detailed account of His Royal Highness's extensive military career.

Further, I acknowledge the establishment in 1956 by Prince Phillip of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The award transformed the perceptions of young people, showing them that nothing can hold them back and that anything is possible through perseverance, dedication and determination. The award recognises young people engaged in a journey of self‑discovery and self‑improvement and is a pathway to helping them develop life skills and find their place in the world and within their communities. It is an inclusive program, supporting young people regardless of location and circumstances, with participants learning invaluable life skills which assist them in making a positive difference to society.

The award was brought to Australia in 1959. Last year in New South Wales 416 schools and other organisations had nearly 12,000 participants registered, the largest of any division in Australia. In 2021 over 25,000 young Australians will begin the journey to achieving a bronze, silver or gold award, which highlights the value of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Prince Philip will be remembered as a much‑loved husband, father, grandfather and great‑grandfather, his service to his country unquestioned and his contribution to communities around the Commonwealth unrivalled, with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award being a testament to His Royal Highness's life and principles.

Mr MARK TAYLOR (Seven Hills) (09:57:07):Ramillies

With considerable sadness I contribute to this important motion of condolence following the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on 9 April 2021. The Duke of Edinburgh had a strong and lengthy relationship with Australia and in particular New South Wales. His Royal Highness visited our shores 23 times in his remarkable 99 years of service to his Queen, his country and the freedom of the Commonwealth of Nations. From 1940 to 2011 Prince Philip attended countless events and engagements here, including several visits without Her Majesty the Queen. Prince Philip's military service first brought him to Australia prior to his engagement to then Princess Elizabeth. He visited New South Wales for the first time in 1940, aged just 19, as a midshipman aboard the Revenge class super‑dreadnought HMS .

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Prince Philip's second visit to New South Wales was in 1945 aboard the Royal Navy destroyer HMS . The first visit to New South Wales by a reigning monarch took place in 1954, when Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh undertook a tour of all Australian States as well as Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory. They arrived in the passenger cargo liner SS , steaming into Sydney Harbour. During Australia's bicentenary celebrations in 1988 Prince Philip was appointed a Companion in the Military Division of the Order of Australia—or an AC, as it is known—for "service to the Australian Defence Force as Admiral of the Fleet of the Australian Navy, Field Marshal in the Australian Army and Marshal of the Royal Australian Defence Force". He arrived on board the Royal Yacht , which passed under the Sydney Harbour Bridge amid great fanfare and celebration. Importantly, the Prince joined Her Majesty in opening the new Australian Parliament House on that same visit.

In 1992 the royal couple visited New South Wales for the 150th anniversary of the City of Sydney, spending seven days carrying out a range of engagements. In 2000 the Duke of Edinburgh joined Her Majesty for a final inspection of various sites that would play host to the Sydney Olympic Games. After attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip waved goodbye to Australia for the last time in October 2011. His Royal Highness assisted in the opening of Parliament on two State occasions: the first being on 4 February 1954 and the second on 20 February 1992.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh has left behind a remarkable legacy of service that I know has been an example to all Australians and, indeed, to many locals right across the electorate of Seven Hills. He leaves behind the award scheme in his name, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which no doubt has changed the lives of many locals from the electorate of Seven Hills. I have every confidence that the award will continue to have a profound, positive impact on the lives of many great young people in the electorate. On behalf of those locals, I sincerely thank The Duke of Edinburgh for what he has achieved in his life of service and what he has left behind. I pass on my formal condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the entire royal family.

Ms FELICITY WILSON (North Shore) (10:00:35):

I recognise the life and service of Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh and prince consort. Prince Philip will be remembered for his service to the Royal Navy, Her Majesty The Queen and the Commonwealth, and through The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. He was known as a supporter of and frequent visitor to Australia. In considering the contribution of his life throughout the many years to our Commonwealth and to Australia, I have been reflecting on some local stories of the 1954 royal tour, particularly to Mosman. I understand there was great excitement as The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arrived in 1954. People were said to have not slept the night before the arrival in February. Some stayed up late to try to get a view of the monarch. I have some interesting contributions that Mosman Collective and my friend Anna Usher have put together on the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh and his contribution in our own community, which I will read to the Chamber:

In Mosman, crowds lined the foreshore from every possible vantage point, and as the royal masthead slowly appeared, the dreamy drone of bagpipes echoed from the eastern edge of Middle Head. "The first notes of music to reach The Queen and Duke from these shores came from the Mosman District Scottish Pipe Band," Mosman Mayor John Warren would later recall in a minute to the Council.

"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, received such a welcome that must forever stay in their memory as an outstanding token of the love and loyalty of their Australian subjects."

At 8:30am, the Gothic—

the ship that they arrived on—

made its way around Bradleys Head to anchor in Athol Bay, prompting a thunderous roar from boats big and small on the water. Prime Minister Robert Menzies with the Queen and Duke.

"A mighty hosanna of cheers and sirens, foghorns and whistles and an echo overhead as six RAAF Mustangs and six Vampire jet fighters gave a Royal salute to their Supreme Commander," Britain's News Chronicle reported, "she was here at last".

"There were thousands of sightseers at Taronga," Dolly Baverstock reported in the Australian Women's Weekly, "and even the animals were excited by the crowds streaming in."

"Spectators stretched all the way from the Harbour Bridge to the zoo, where a disused monkey pit provided a prime view of the regal visitors," she said.

In the many days that ensued of the royal visit, they went across New South Wales and the ACT. On their last day in Sydney, Thursday 18 January, it was finally Mosman's turn to officially host them not just on the water but on land. Usher writes:

Council had decided on a striking shield motif flanked with red, white and blue bunting and gold rosettes to adorn storefronts on Military Rd, from Cremorne Junction to the Buena Vista.

"The response of retailers … was practically a continuous line of awning display right along Military Rd from Cremorne to Mosman," 1954 Mosman Council Minutes state.

At 11:30am, the Royal Dakota arrived at Mascot from Canberra … More than 600,000 people lined the route, along … Military Rd and finally Middle Head Rd.

In St Leonards Park, North Sydney, nearly 50,000 lower north shore school children stood in searing heat to greet the Monarch when she—

and the Duke of Edinburgh—

arrived at 12:10pm.

"The Queen and Duke sat on the turned down hood of an open car as they drove through a sea of fluttering flags and screaming, shouting children," the Sydney Sun that afternoon.

From North Sydney, the entourage moved slowly amidst heaving crowds, with "women and children evading the cordon, rushing forward to wave flags and cheer at The Queen."

"Thousands of women lined Military Rd, 'coo-eed' and shouted, "God bless you, come back to us," as the Queen and Duke passed, the newspaper report said.

"A happy incident at Cremorne Junction occurred when the Queen signalled to her driver to stop the Royal car, leant out and took a cellophane-enclosed posy from a small girl who ran on the roadway.

There is a significant, extensive history of the royal family visiting Mosman and coming through North Sydney as well. We always welcome them. The tradition is within our own streets and communities. We have many roads named after the royal family, including Royalist Road. It permeates our local community. There is a deep sense of respect, care and love for this family and everything they have done for us. This was not the last time they visited, although it was the first. We remember the contribution of Prince Philip and the service he provided in particular to The Queen in her duty to us. We recognise his loss and that it must be very heartfelt to his family. We recognise that it will leave a void for us, particularly with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and the Commonwealth. Our commiserations, memories and reflections go to Prince Philip's family. Vale, Prince Philip.

Debate adjourned.

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