The Royal Yachting Association is deeply saddened by the loss of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh – former RYA President and RYA Honorary Member.
Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen, RYA Patron, The Princess Royal, RYA President and the entire Royal Family at this time.
Though probably best known for founding The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in 1956, His Royal Highness was also involved in the work of many more charities and organisations which reflected his wide-ranging interests including conservation, the military and engineering, as well as his passion for getting afloat.
Well-known for his love of sailing, as well as his long-standing naval career, The Duke of Edinburgh started sailing while he was at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. He sailed frequently with Prince Charles in the Dragon Class keelboat Bluebottle, which was a gift to The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on their marriage from the Island Sailing Club in Cowes, Isle of Wight.
The Duke sailed the boat competitively for a number of years.
A regular attendee at Cowes Week on board HMY Britannia, The Duke of Edinburgh became a friend of the boat designer and legendary sailor Uffa Fox, racing in Cowes Week in 1957 in Bluebottle.
He also frequently sailed with Uffa on Coweslip, the most famous of the Flying Fifteen keelboats.
Together, they had great success sailing competitively, including winning the Britannia Cup in 1952. In 1962 at Cowes, Coweslip nearly sank when she was hit by a gust of wind and capsized, throwing both Uffa and the Duke into the water.
Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive, today paid tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh: “As a sailing community we share the nation’s sadness following the loss of Prince Phillip. He will be missed by the RYA family and we pay tribute to not just a keen, competitive and successful yachtsman, but also an outstanding President of our Association who dedicated many years to helping protect and promote our sport.
Prince Philip – His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, died at the age of 99 on Friday 9 April 2021 at Windsor Castle. He was due to turn 100 in two months’ time, on 10 June.
The Duke served as Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron at Cowes, Isle of Wight, and was also patron of the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, having become Admiral of the Club in 1952.
British Dragon Association
We are all saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. As a passionate sailor and racer it is such a shame he didn’t get to see his Dragon Bluebottle fully restored and back on the water.
May he rest in peace.