Variety is immensely saddened by the passing of our founder member and patron, HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, whose support has been so important throughout our history. At the same time, we celebrate his huge contribution to our cause, and to our nation.

The Duke was a lifelong advocate and champion for young people, and was initimately 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, which resulted in a UK tent being established in 1949. With his unflagging commitment, energy and passion for our work with disabled and disadvantaged children, his patronage over the next seven decades had an enormous impact on Variety.

HRH Prince Philip took great delight in attending or officiating at many Variety events and activities, sometimes even staying all evening. He was an incredibly ‘good sport’, known for his great sense of fun, for being hugely entertaining company, and for his ability to make everyone around him feel completely at ease. His charm, sharp wit and unfailing good humor always lifted spirits, while his enthusiasm and dedication visibly raised awareness of our cause and inspired an extraordinary level of generosity among our supporters, enabling Variety to flourish and grow from strength to strength. As our patron, he also offered his wisdom, asking knowedgeable questions and offering guidance.

Malcolm Brenner, Variety Trustee and Chief Barker, 2011, commented: “Prince Philip, who was instrumental in bringing our charity to Great Britain in 1949 and remained our Gold Card Life Member throughout the years, will be sadly missed. His unswerving and unconditional support over the years has helped us raise much-needed funds to improve the lives of sick, disabled, and disadvantaged children. His loss will be sorely felt by all who are associated with Variety, and of course by the children who we care for. With the help of HRH, we made their lives purposeful and happy, and we will continue to do so. With deepest respect we bid him farewell and extend our deepest sympathy to Her Majesty the Queen and the entire Royal Household.”

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