Eight Bells: Prince Philip
Published on April 9th, 2021
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died at age 99 on April 9, 2021.
His Royal Highness passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle in the south of England.
Well-known for his love of boating, as well as his long-standing naval career, The Duke of Edinburgh started sailing while he was at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. He sailed frequently with Prince Charles in the Dragon Class keelboat Bluebottle, which was a gift to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on their marriage from the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight. The Duke sailed the boat competitively for a number of years.
In 1948, Her Royal Highness Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh were listed as new members of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and given Honorary Membership. At the 1956 RYA Annual General Meeting, The Duke of Edinburgh was elected as President of the RYA for the first time. Following his election, the Council was regularly invited to hold one of its meetings on board HMY Britannia during Cowes Week.
The Duke of Edinburgh was a regular competitor at Cowes Week, adding a welcome royal element to the week, as well as being a very competitive entrant in the regatta in his own right.
In 1964, on the suggestion of HRH Prince Philip, Cowes Combined Clubs was formed to run and organize the regatta. That structure is still in place, delivering a single set of racing instructions for the world-famous regatta and ushering in a modern and evolving race management system which has been instrumental in creating what is one of the world’s premier regattas.
His Royal Highness opened the Regatta House building that the Cowes Week team still uses today, on the 19th of May 2004.