New £2.5 million Norfolk lifeboat to be named after Prince Philip
- Credit: PA
A state-of-the-art lifeboat bound for Norfolk is to be named after Prince Philip.
The RNLI has announced the £2.5 million Shannon class vessel will be called Duke of Edinburgh in memory of Prince Philip, who passed away on April 9, aged 99.
Mark Dowie, the RNLI's chief executive, said the naming was to honour Prince Philip’s longstanding commitment to maritime services and lifetime of support to the Queen.
Mr Dowie said: ‘It’s a great honour, not just for Wells Lifeboat Station but for the RNLI as a whole. We heard that the Duke was pleased to learn of the plans to name a lifeboat after him and that it was going to be serving a community so close to Sandringham.
"Very sadly the Duke passed away before His Royal Highness could see it happen, but we are delighted to pay tribute to his legacy in this way today."
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The Queen has been patron of the lifesaving charity since 1952 and Prince Philip became a member of the RNLI Council in 1972.
The announcement is being made 71 years to the day that Prince Philip assumed command of HMS Magpie in 1950 – his very first sea-going command in the Royal Navy.
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In a nod to that proud moment, earlier this summer Prince Charles attached a plate engraved with a magpie to the new lifeboat, which is under construction at the RNLI's centre in Poole.
A new lifeboat house is being built to house the Duke of Edinburgh vessel, which is due to arrive for the building's opening in autumn next year.
Chris Hardy, the station's operations manager, said: "We are in no doubt that our new lifeboat will continue the vital work of saving lives at sea, which we know His Royal Highness was so passionate about throughout his lifelong maritime association."
Duke of Edinburgh will be the 53rd lifeboat to be funded through the Lifeboat Fund since the Civil Service first established a lifeboat funding charity in 1866.
Up to 10,000 names are to be displayed within the letters and numbers RNLI 13-46 on the boat's hull as part of a fundraising Launch a Memory project. Visit rnli.org/support-us/give-money/donate-in-memory/launch-a-memory to find out more.