Philip’s naval uniform goes on display on anniversary of his death

Kate Braun, curator at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, looks at a naval uniform which once belonged to the Duke of Edinburgh

The items are part of an exhibition at the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard looking at the Queen’s close links to the Navy as part of celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee.

As well as being the daughter and granddaughter of monarchs who served in the Navy, the Queen became an officer’s wife when she married Prince Philip.

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The exhibition also includes photographs depicting the Queen’s many engagements as ceremonial head of the Royal Navy.

An NMRN spokeswoman said: “It captures the wide variety of duties, from the launching of ships, visits to personnel and the presentation of Queen’s Colors to world tours on the Royal Yacht, fleet reviews and street parties.

“There have been seven fleet reviews during her reign, including one to celebrate her coronation in 1953 just off the coast of Portsmouth, and most recently in 2005, to mark the bicentennial of the Battle of Trafalgar.

“The Queen also has a deeper, more personal connection to the Royal Navy and was born into a family steeped in service with the Royal Navy.

“As the daughter and granddaughter of monarchs who served as young men in the Royal Navy, she later married a serving naval officer and two of her sons became naval officers.

“She has experienced the same emotions felt by every member of a naval family and paid testimony to this at the commissioning ceremony of HMS Queen Elizabeth in 2017.

“Photographs exploring the Queen’s long and loyal service and a recently acquired naval uniform belonging to the Duke of Edinburgh displayed for the first time alongside his admiral’s cap, add an intimate touch to the exhibition.”

Also recently donated to the museum are 41 shell cases from the gun salute fired to commemorate Philip’s death.

This week has seen the Queen continue with her official duties at Windsor Castle ahead of the anniversary.

The 95-year-old held virtual audiences on Tuesday, welcoming the Ambassadors of Libya and the Republic of Congo, who presented their credentials via video-link from Buckingham Palace.

Last week, the nation’s longest reigning monarch, who has spoken of her mobility problems, rallied for a poignant final farewell to her husband of 73 years at a memorial service in his honour.

The Queen, escorted by her controversial son, the Duke of York, gathered in Westminster Abbey with Philip’s friends and family and charity workers for her first official appearance outside a royal residence in nearly six months.

Saturday marks one year since the duke, the country’s longest-serving consort and the Queen’s “strength and stay”, died at Windsor at the age of 99.

The monarch is expected to mark the sad milestone privately at his Berkshire castle.

She is set to reach her 96th birthday in just over two weeks’ time, on April 21, and is less than two months away from the major celebrations to mark her Platinum Jubilee.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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