THOSE who watched the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday are bound to have been deeply moved by the heavy symbolism and subtle connotations of each part of the ceremonial royal funeral (The Yorkshire Post, April 19).
Of all the subtle messages the Duke tried to relay to us, through his meticulously planned service, there was one which had an unmistakable lesson. That Royal Navy call to Action Stations rang out through the near-empty chapel – stop reflecting and get on with the job!
That is a message we can take personally. We can take the example of this “life well lived” and apply some of its principles to our own lives. The Duke carved out an extraordinary life within the constraints of his circumstances by accepting the immovable and embracing the possible.
He did not let his refugee, quasi-orphaned status hold him back as a child – he pushed on, excelling at school and rising through the ranks of the Navy before achieving a distinguished war record.
He did not let his subsidiary role as the sovereign’s husband confine him to a dull and unfulfilled life – he shook up the royal machine, created new initiatives and organisations and used his position to raise the profile of causes previously unheard of by the vast majority.
He did not always get things right, but making mistakes was part of a process which eventually produced a successful outcome.
In these days of divisive identity politics, we can learn a great deal from this man, who so obviously refused to conform to political correctness.
That call to Action Stations can also be a message to the nation, to the Government and to society from the man who famously told British industry to “pull your finger out”.
Let us get on with the job of returning to normal, of rebuilding our economy, of writing an exciting new chapter in the story of our island nation.
Prince Philip refused to comment on his own legacy, leaving others to judge what that might be. Let the application of his ethos through practical actions and his forward-looking attitude be his everlasting legacy to the British people.
From: Alan German, Station Road, Sutton, Retford.
RAYMOND Dixon (The Yorkshire Post, April 15) sounds seriously angry at seeing our national flag flown upside down on a naval vessel recently.
He should not be. The Union Flag, known as the Union Jack when on a ship, can be deliberately flown upside down as a signal of distress. In the circumstances and given Prince Philip’s long association with the Royal Navy this could have been a very pertinent and respectful move by the ship’s commander.
From: Mrs M Mawer, Low Street, Scalby, Scarborough.
WHILST living on the island of St Kitts, in the West Indies, in the 1990s, I have fond memories of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh coming on a Commonwealth visit.
I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to their Gala evening at Government House where they were staying.
I remember the Duke asking members of the public questions. He asked me how long I had been on the island. He had such a lovely smile and was so interested in listening about the island. I felt extremely proud to have met him.
The Queen was nearby and she too was asking questions. These memories will live with me forever.
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
HOW sad if Princes William and Harry cannot reach a peaceful agreement after Prince Phillip’s passing.
Anyone with a grain of common sense would have eagerly grasped the chance to be at peace with each other.