The Word on the Week

Death of a Duke

Death of a Duke              Word on the Week          10th April 2021.

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh had been anticipated because of the increasing frequency of his hospital visits.   On his last visit, as he was leaving he came to the door of the hospital to meet some soldiers and hear the bugler play the last post!    He stood erect, negotiated the steps without a walking stick and looked likely to achieve his 100 birthday in a few weeks’ time.  

Alas it was not to be.   He died this week.   He had been Consort to the Queen for more than 70 years.   Our sympathies go to her.   He was her faithful shadow, keeping his place behind the Queen and being a support to her in the many-sided round of duties she was expected to perform.

Prince Philip was educated at Gordonstoun, a college in the Scottish Highlands founded by a German disciplinarian, Kurt Hann.   Its motto was “There is more in you” and Kurt saw it as his business to get it out of you!  Whereas Philip enjoyed his time there his son Charles, the Prince of Wales, found it difficult.   He described the school a “Colditz in kilts” alluding to the prisoner-of-war camp Colditz Castle in Germany!

Perhaps the most lasting thing which Philip did was to inaugurate the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, an outward bound challenge primarily for teenagers.   It had three levels; Bronze, Silver and the most arduous, Gold.  The Gold involved surviving for three days in remote countryside carrying tent, stove etc.   You could trace its origins to his time in Gordonstoun!

During his life Prince Philip’s love of nature led him to become involved in many “Saving the Planet” projects long before they became popular. 

His career in the Royal Navy brought him into action in WW11.  On land he was given the task of looking after the Crown Lands – a considerable number of farms and forests.  

There have been a number of references to the Queen’s Christian faith and its part in sustaining them through the long reign.  No doubt they were familiar with the Reformers teaching about the Crown Rights of the Redeemer.   There are two Monarchs; one is in the Palace in London the other is King Jesus ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high.  

The governance of the State is in the prerogative of the former.  The latter however was instituted by Christ and owes its allegiance to Him alone (St Matthew Chapter 28 Verses 16 to 20).   In this day when everyone knows their rights it is good to be reminder of the prior right of the one who by His blood purchased men for God (Revelation Chapter 5 verse 9 to 10).