Provincial News

The passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh


EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM – JULY 04: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh smiles during a visit to the headquarters of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force’s (RAuxAF) 603 Squadron on July 4, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Danny Lawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Somerset Freemasons are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and we extend our sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family.

Prince Philip was proud to be a Freemason having joined Navy Lodge, no. 2612, on December 5th 1952. The Lodge prides itself on being the premier Naval Lodge in the world, with an unparalleled history that includes four monarchs as past members – King Edward VII, King Edward VIII, King George VI and King George II of the Hellenes as well as Sir Ernest Shackleton, Robert Scott – known as ‘Scott of the Antarctic’ – and many more.

Prince Philip was born in Corfu on 10th June 1921, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. He therefore also held the title Prince of Greece and Denmark.

He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Prince Louis, who was Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord. He had a long and successful career in the Navy and rose to the rank of Commander. He was also a qualified pilot and was the first member of the Royal Family ever to fly out of Buckingham Palace in a helicopter!

Union Flag at half Mast over Freemasons Hall

Freemasons can also count other members of the Royal Family among their number, including HRH the Duke of Kent, who is the longest-serving Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England.

David Medlock Head of the Somerset Freemasons said “Prince Philip was an example to us all and will be greatly missed. We as Freemasons in Somerset will continue his charitable works. During the Pandemic we have donated over £174,000 to local Charities”. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was patron or president of some 800 organizations. One of his most remarkable achievements being the Duke of Edinburgh Award (DofE) Scheme that empowers young people to build on the skills they need to make the most out of life. Ben Batley, Deputy Head of the Freemasons in Somerset said “The DofE Award Scheme has always been close to the hearts of Somerset Freemasons, who, over the past few years have donated a legacy of £16,500  to allow vulnerable, disabled and disadvantaged young people the ability to take part. We are delighted to continue to be involved in the operation and management of the scheme in Somerset.”

Barry Davies
PCO PGL Somerset

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