A new lifeboat for the RNLI is being named after Prince Philip to honour his maritime service. The boat – currently being built at the headquarters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Poole, Dorset – will be called The Duke of Edinburgh. The Royal National Lifeboat Institute said it is delighted to honour the Prince’s “longstanding commitment to maritime services and lifetime support to Her Majesty The Queen”. The Queen has been Patron of the RNLI since the year she became Sovereign in 1952.
The naming was always planned for Prince Philip’s 100th year, but he died aged 99 in April. He was aware of the plans to name a lifeboat after him. The announcement is being made on the day Prince Philip assumed command of HMS Magpie in 1950. It was the first ship he took charge of during his career with the Royal Navy, which began before the Second World War. His son, Prince Charles, recently added a small plate engraved with a magpie to the new lifeboat – in a nod to his father’s first sea-going command in the Royal Navy.
The Duke – a lifelong lover of the sea – had seen active service during the war in the Mediterranean and in the Pacific Ocean.
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The RNLI’s newest Shannon Class lifeboat will go into service in 2022 at Wells-next-the-Sea station, a short distance from the Sandringham Estate. The charity’s Chief Executive Mark Dowie said: “It is a great honour, not just for Wells Lifeboat Station but for the RNLI as a whole”. The Duke of Edinburgh lifeboat will “continue to vital work of saving lives at sea” the RNLI said, which Prince Philip “was so passionate about during his lifelong maritime association”.