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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is 88

Prince Philip celebrates his 88th birthday today. The usually crusty Gerald Warner writes about the Prince -

Critics talk about a "privileged" existence. That depends on whether you consider being born on the dining-room table during a political upheaval and smuggled out of your country of birth in a cot knocked up out of an orange box a privilege. The first time Philip saw the beaches of Sicily, in 1943, the chief hazard was not the paparazzi.

People with a truly privileged existence do not spend their days, including their birthdays, visiting widget factories, talking to local councillors and cutting ribbons in civic centres. Apart from the Prince's work for wildlife, undertaken long before it became fashionable, his Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme has 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.

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Image: Canterbury College
‘The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities, designed to support the personal and social development of young people. . .'

Warner concludes -

Prince Philip's has been a life lived in the real world; his sometimes astringent opinions are the authentic voice of the Royal Naval wardroom. Long may he continue to support Her Majesty and serve our country.

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