Prince Philip’s memorial service includes Variety
Prince Philip was Variety’s patron and supporter for over 70 years and Tushar Prabhu, Chief Barker and Conrad Hollingsworth, Chief Executive attended the service on the charity’s behalf. Other guests included Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. The memorial was organised as Covid rules meant the Duke’s funeral, held almost a year ago, could have only 30 people present.
The Duke was a lifelong advocate and champion for young people, and was intimately associated with Variety in the UK since its very beginnings. Through his international contacts in the world of show business, he played a crucial role in helping to bring the charity from America to this country in 1949.
At the memorial service, Prince Philip, who died aged 99, was described as a “remarkable man” committed to “down-to-earth” causes. Dean of Windsor David Conner – a long-time friend of Prince Philip – told the congregation that the Duke’s life “bore the marks of sacrifice and service”.
Duke of Edinburgh gold award winner Doyin Sonibare gave a speech describing the opportunities the Duke’s award had opened up to her. She said: “I remember thinking to myself, if I could complete this expedition, I can do anything.”
Doyin Sonibare spoke so eloquently about how the Duke of Edinburgh Award changed her life, in a practical sense, and now she is in a position to give something back herself. I think that resonated with everyone there – I know our charity is about similar things.
“I expected the sense of occasion and the pageantry but what surprised me was how personal and at the same time diverse the memorial service was. The eulogy was honest about what Prince Philip was like – it talked about his many achievements, his humour and also mentioned some of his faults. And it was powerful to hear Doyin speak alongside more Establishment figures. All these things made the service an occasion I’ll remember for years to come.Tushar Prabhu