'Prince Philip: A Celebration' display opens at Windsor Castle
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'Prince Philip: A Celebration' display opens at Windsor Castle
A Royal Collection Trust curator examines the Journal in which Queen Victoria recorded the birth of Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, at Windsor Castle in 1885. Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021.

LONDON.- From today, a visit to Windsor Castle includes a special display commemorating the remarkable life and legacy of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Britain’s longest-serving consort. An accompanying souvenir publication and official commemorative range are also available from today.

Through more than 120 objects, Prince Philip: A Celebration charts significant events and achievements in The Duke of Edinburgh’s life, including his early life and naval career, his role as consort, his support for the sovereign at home and abroad, and his wide-ranging patronages and associations.

The display is located in St George’s Hall and the Lantern Lobby, two spaces that were devastated by the Windsor Castle fire of 1992, and whose restoration was overseen by His Royal Highness as Chair of the Restoration Committee. A section of the display exploring Prince Philip’s role in the restoration of the Castle includes a large fragment of a burnt wooden beam salvaged from the debris by His Royal Highness.

On public display for the first time is a portrait of Prince Philip painted by Ralph Heimans in 2017, the year of His Royal Highness’s retirement from public engagements. The painting, which measures more than 2m wide and 1.6m high, shows His Royal Highness standing in the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle. At the end of the Grand Corridor is the Tapestry Room where Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, and maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria, were born. The Journal in which Queen Victoria recorded the birth of Princess Alice will also be on display.

A highlight of the display is a section bringing together for the first time items relating to Prince Philip’s role in The Queen’s Coronation of 1953. The Coronation Robe and Coronet worn by Prince Philip during the service will be on display, alongside His Royal Highness’s Chair of Estate (usually located in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace) and a scene of the Coronation that he commissioned from the expressionist painter Feliks Topolski.

His Royal Highness’s patronage of modern design is reflected through works that he commissioned and collected throughout his life. In 1956 he invited the architect Sir Hugh Casson to redesign his study at Buckingham Palace, incorporating contemporary furniture, a modern television set, a tape deck, turntable and radio, and automated curtains. Sir Hugh Casson’s original design sketch for the study will be on display, along with examples of studio pottery by artists such as Dame Lucie Rie and Arthur Griffiths, acquired for a suite of guest rooms at Windsor Castle also designed by Sir Hugh in the 1960s. Also on display will be the first sculpture that Prince Philip commissioned – a bronze bust by the Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap.

Gifts presented to Prince Philip during State Visits, overseas tours and official engagements demonstrate the extent of His Royal Highness’s travel in support of Her Majesty The Queen. Examples include a First Nations feather headdress presented to The Prince during a Commonwealth visit to Canada in 1973; a wine cooler in the shape of a giant grasshopper presented by President Pompidou of France in 1972; and the steering wheel from the Lotus 79 driven to victory by Mario Andretti in the 1978 F1 World Championship, presented to His Royal Highness during a visit to Lotus Cars in 1979.

The Duke of Edinburgh was installed as a Knight of the Garter in St George’s Chapel in 1948 and marked many public and private occasions there. His funeral took place in St George’s Chapel on 17 April 2021. A display of archival material and historic photographs in the Chapel’s south quire aisle celebrates his faith and service to society, his support of the Chapel and his role in the foundation and development of St George’s House consultation centre.

The souvenir publication Prince Philip 1921–2021: A Celebration is available from today. The book explores the major events in Prince Philip’s life, from his birth in Corfu, his education and wartime service, to his marriage to The Queen and his patronage of more than 750 organisations. Featuring more than 150 images of His Royal Highness, the book draws on private archives as well as official records and includes a foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

An official commemorative retail range has been produced by Royal Collection Trust to celebrate Prince Philip’s life and pay tribute to his wide-ranging interests. The range includes a fine bone china coffee mug and limited edition tankard, featuring a design bearing His Royal Highness’s personal Cypher and Coronet. A leather bookmark reflects The Prince’s interest in reading, while food and drink items including an ale, ginger marmalade and Scottish oatcakes reflect his personal tastes and fondness for picnics. Added to the range in July will be a gold-plated bottle opener in the shape of a bit, part of a horse’s bridle, paying tribute to Prince Philip’s love of carriage driving, and a set of glass whisky tumblers engraved with emblems of the sports pursuits His Royal Highness enjoyed, including cricket and polo.

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