On Friday, 9 April 2021, Buckingham Palace announced the sad news of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. This is a significant bereavement for our nation and will be felt deeply by many of us.
“Today, I have heard with sadness of the death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Since he married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, he has had a unique place in our national life and affections, and has made a special contribution to the shared life of the Commonwealth. As the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch he has provided consistent strength and support for The Queen through times of national and international upheaval and change, as well as peace and celebration. He deserves our deep respect and thanks, and my thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty and the other members of the Royal Family.”The Bishop of Leicester, Martyn Snow
“We assure Her Majesty of our prayers and sympathy following the death of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. We have been privileged to welcome him to the Cathedral and noted his great concern in particular to meet veterans and those living with disability. He was great company over lunch, enjoying his trademark Pale Ale with rich wide ranging conversation, with that characteristic humour and slightly naughty twinkle in his eye. His life is marked by public service. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”The Dean of Leicester, David Monteith
Due to the pandemic, local physical Books of Condolence will not be possible. There is an online Book of Condolence available on the national Church of England website here and you can also light a virtual candle here
There will be a special online service of remembrance and thanksgiving from Leicester Cathedral at 5pm on Thursday 15 April
Full details here.
Patron of Lay Readers
The Duke of Edinburgh was Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations – amongst this very long list, it is perhaps not widely known that Prince Philip was the patron of Lay Readers.
He was, of course, in attendance at the Royal Celebration of 150 years of Lay Readers held in All Souls Church, Langham Place in London on 9th May, 2016.
Our own Lay Reader, Maxine Johnson attended this notable service, alongside her Lay Reader colleagues from Leicester and the County, where she saw Prince Philip for the first time at a place of worship. A remarkable man whose faith and dedication shone through at that service. She remarked how special it was to see him in this context, as part of the service, at worship alongside all the congregation – on equal terms.
You can read the full story of the special day in 2016 here.