29 March 2022

Philip’s wildlife, sporting, military and science charities among guests

29 March 2022

Hundreds of representatives from the Duke of Edinburgh’s many charities are gathering in Philip’s honour to pay their respects at his memorial service.

From the Army Boxing Association and the Design Council to the Football Association and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Philip was connected to 785 organisations during his decades of royal duty.

His love of carriage driving is reflected in the inclusion of British Carriage Driving, the Sandringham Driving Trials, the Scottish Carriage Driving Association and the British Driving Society.

Two representatives each from more than 210 charities of which Philip was patron or president have been invited to a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey.

The Duke of Edinburgh at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

These include the Seafarers’ Charity, the Royal College of Art, the Caravan and Motorhome Club, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Zoological Society of London.

The duke had never intended to have a memorial service as part of his Forth Bridge funeral plans.

But Covid restrictions meant almost all of those who would have been invited to his funeral were not permitted, with numbers limited to only 30 close family and friends.

Philip, who died in April at the age of 99, was the longest serving consort in British history.

Philip working at his desk as a young man (PA) (PA Archive)

The lengthy list of charities – including scores of science, technological, sporting, military, conservation and health organisations – in the congregation demonstrates the depth of his dedication to royal service.

Over the years, Philip carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and gave more than 5,400 speeches, as well as taking part in thousands of other engagements with the Queen and committing himself to innumerable obligations behind the scenes.

He was the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch, and finally retired from public duties in 2017, when he was 96, but remained busy behind the scenes, corresponding with many of the organisations he worked with.

The British Heart Foundation, the British Trust for Ornithology, Crathie Cricket Club, the Burma Star Association, Muscular Dystrophy UK, and the Royal Air Force Museum will also be among the guests.

Two representatives from the private King Edward VII’s Hospital, which cared for the duke for nearly a month shortly before his death, also received invitations.

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