‘It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning (9 April 2021) at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.’

– Buckingham Palace Official Statement.

Our hearts always go out to ‘the widow and the fatherless’ in a time of bereavement. In the case of the Royal Family, whose privacy is so often violated, their private grief and inward suffering is to a large extent masked on account of setting an example before a watching world.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have been well to the fore in setting an example as people in high places, whether it be in dignified mourning, responsible parenting, mutual love and affection, handling the primacy of the Queen in public life and responsibility while acknowledging the headship of Prince Philip in the home and family, and indeed acknowledging God and Christian faith as integral to their lives.

I was present in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland when Prince Andrew, representing the Queen at that Assembly, spoke at some length of being brought up in the Royal Family and most memorably saying with great emphasis, ‘Our parents were always there for us.’ There have been a number of trials for the Royal Parents to endure since then, but the strength with which Prince Andrew spoke those words leaves me to expect that they remained ‘always there’ for their own family as they have been for the family of the Commonwealth.

With that peculiar mixture of Christian sadness and joy, the Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed the hope that His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, would ‘Rest in peace and rise in Glory.’ We add a fervent ‘AMEN.’                 

– Bob Thomas