Celebration of Philip’s life to open at Holyroodhouse

The display will include mementoes from his wedding day, naval career and numerous connections to Scotland.

Duke of Edinburgh’s kilt
Duke of Edinburgh’s kilt

The life and legacy of the Duke of Edinburgh will be celebrated in a special display at the Palace of Holyroodhouse from Friday.

Philip – the nation’s longest serving consort – died aged 99 on April 9, just two months before he would have turned 100.

The Royal Collection Trust said the display at the Edinburgh palace will see more than 60 mementoes exhibited, such as items from when Philip married Princess Elizabeth in 1947.

The wedding breakfast menu
The wedding breakfast menu is part of the display (Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021/PA)

They include the wedding invitation, order of service and wedding breakfast menu, which featured “Filet de Sole Mountbatten” – a tribute to the groom’s family name – and “Bombe Glacee Princesse Elizabeth” – a nod to the royal bride.

The Queen and the duke were together for 73 years, with the duke devoting himself to supporting the monarch in her duties as head of state at home and abroad.

A section of the display will also chart Philip’s early life and naval career, including his Midshipman’s log book from 1940–1 in which he described his role operating the ship’s searchlight during the Battle of Cape Matapan while stationed on HMS Valiant off the coast of Greece.

Silver-gilt casket
A silver-gilt casket, presented to the Duke of Edinburgh with the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh in 1949, forms part of the display (David Cheskin/Royal Collection Trust/PA)

Philip was granted the royal dukedom of Edinburgh ahead of his wedding and the exhibition will explore his connections to Scotland and its capital city.

A silver-gilt casket, presented to Philip with the Freedom of the City of Edinburgh in 1949, will go on display alongside his kilt.

The duke took a keen interest in the design of the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was built in the Clydebank shipyard and launched by the Queen in 1953.

Model of HMY Britannia
A silver model of Britannia was presented to the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1972 (David Cheskin/Royal Collection Trust/PA)

On show will be a silver model of the ship and two of the architect Sir Hugh Casson’s original design sketches for the yacht’s sun lounge and dining room.

The drawing of the spacious, light-filled sun lounge features a reclining green sun lounger and a table showing what appears to be a pair of white rimmed sunglasses and some binoculars.

Notes on the side describe the natural wood strip panelling, with the added suggestion that the furniture be “outdoor” type and upholstered in linen or canvas in “bright clear colours”.

Morning Light, Banffshire, 1979–84, by James Orr
Morning Light, Banffshire, by James Orr is one of the late duke’s paintings (Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021/PA)

The duke was also an avid collector of contemporary Scottish art, and between 1958 and 1996 he acquired a large number of works from the annual exhibitions of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Paintings from the collection, including pieces by Robin Philipson and James Orr, will be on display at the palace, with many reflecting Philip’s interests in Scottish landscapes and wildlife.

Prince Philip: A Celebration is part of a visit to the Palace of Holyroodhouse until October 31 and tickets must be pre-booked through www.rct.uk or 0303 123 7300.

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