Hon. Jane Cordy: Honourable senators, today we remember and celebrate the life of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
As the longest serving British monarch’s consort, Prince Philip was by Queen Elizabeth’s side for over 70 years. Over those 70 years, Prince Philip dedicated himself to a life of public service. He had been associated with over 900 charities in his lifetime, with a focus on the environment, youth mental health and well-being, and sport. The most notable of his charitable endeavours may be his founding of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which is a global program with the goal of challenging, empowering and recognizing young people between the ages of 14 and 24. The award has been active in Canada since 1963, helping over 500,000 young Canadians reach their potential. Two of our former Senate colleagues, Trevor Eyton and Joseph Day, served on the board of directors for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
Many have said that one of Prince Philip’s greatest achievements was the strength of his support for the Queen during her reign. In paying tribute to her husband at their fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration, Queen Elizabeth II stated:
He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.
The Duke of Edinburgh made five official visits to my province of Nova Scotia. His first official visit was in 1951, when he accompanied then-Princess Elizabeth on a cross-Canada visit. They were greeted by thousands of enthusiastic Nova Scotians as they rode by train from Amherst to Truro and Halifax. While 1951 may have been his first official royal visit to Nova Scotia, several years earlier, serving as a young naval officer in the Royal Navy during the Battle of the Atlantic, Prince Philip had been in Halifax during the Second World War. As a former naval officer, it was fitting that his last official visit to Nova Scotia was to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Royal Canadian Navy in 2010.
Honourable senators, on behalf of all Nova Scotians and the Progressive Senate Group, I wish to express my deepest condolences to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and to all members of the Royal Family. Thank you.