– by Sara Hain
It was a quiet Friday afternoon and I was deeply engrossed in my work, when one of my closest friends sent me a WhatsApp message. The message said, “Prince Philip died today. How sad.” Honestly, you would think that I would have stopped everything to gawk at every single news headline but I did not even bat an eyelid. Instead, and robotically, I carried on working and did not even give it a moment’s thought. Wow!
Later that evening, as I got into bed and flicked on the tv, the news was just everywhere. I felt sorrow, not only because of who our nation had lost, but also who Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, had lost – she had lost her man.
What does it take? I mean really, what does it take for a man to devote himself and his entire life to Her Majesty and country? Can you actually fathom this? The tireless demands of meeting expectations of the public, the government and dignitaries alike, the media, and of course, the rest of the world. Moreover, and what I can only imagine as the most difficult, was just being in the shadow of The Queen.
He was always known as someone who lacked tact – something which was certainly not considered appropriate then, and well, not appropriate at all whatever the circumstance. It would be talked about for a couple of days here and there, and would make headlines in the British press, but I do ask if we accepted this and if we thought he was above everyone? We as a nation certainly did not nip it in the bud nor did we protest outside Buckingham Palace.
So, what exactly would his legacy be? What will the historians and journalists write for us to remember? After all, aren’t we often a little sentimental; isn’t this what fairy tales are made of?
I am the type of person who takes the bad with the good. He may have seemingly lived in the shadow of The Queen, but he did so much – we cannot forget this; this after all is our history.
The Queen saw her love beside her, not behind her. Once she ascended the throne, she declared that Prince Philip would not outrank the male heirs by ensuring he would take ‘place, pre-eminence and precedence’. This was possibly equal opportunities at its best.
My thoughts are with Her Majesty; seeing her all alone without her man disheartens me. He was her support, her guide, her one true love – her man.