The President, Chairman, Trustees, Club Secretary/CEO and staff join all VSC members and their families across the UK, Commonwealth and our Allies in great sadness at the news of the death today of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  

We all extend our deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and all members of the  Royal Family while expressing our gratitude for Prince Philip’s remarkable service to Her Majesty, this country and the Commonwealth.    

Our association with HRH The Prince Philip lasted 63 of our 114 years, from 1949 to 2012, beginning with a visit on 26th April 1949 with, then, HRH The Princess Elizabeth, and coming to an end only when HRH was succeeded by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall as our Patron-in-Chief in 2012.

On 5th November 1954, Prince Philip honoured the Club by laying the foundation stone of the new Memorial Wing, an event covered by the BBC in its television and radio news programmes.  HRH then graciously consented in 1957 to accept the office of Patron-in-Chief of the Association and Club, a duty he undertook with great interest, warmth and humour for over 50 years. 

HRH shown here with the Club’s appointed Architect, Alister MacDonald.

The Club valued greatly this long and successful association.  HRH The Prince Philip offered tremendous support to our aims and objectives.  This included, for example, the note in December 2005 which encouraged support for our appeal for the funds required to enable the refurbishment of the Centenary Wing. 

HRH’s note from December 2005 in support of the Club’s Centenary Wing Appeal.    

On 15th November 2007, HRH visited the Club for a double celebration: the Club’s Centenary, and HRH’s 50 years as Patron-in-Chief.  HRH then returned in 2009 to open the completed facilities.

Prince Philip visited the Club many times over seven decades Our photographic archive tells a story of engagement and fun.  The following are some of our favourites to enjoy as we remember HRH with considerable gratitude and affection.  

HRH with Club members during a visit on 22nd February 1990. Club President, General Sir Geoffrey Masson is far right, and Club Secretary, Mr D Stovey (with glasses) right of HRH.

HRH with Sir Winston S Churchill on 26th October 1960 at a Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars Reunion Dinner in the Carisbrooke Hall

HRH with HRH Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and a group of Club members during Prince Philip’s first visit to the Club on 26th April 1949.

HRH with Lord Carisbrooke (far left) and Lt Col Watkins (Club Secretary) observing the scene from the Memorial Wing 8th Floor balcony during a visit on 4th March 1958.

HRH with past President, Air Marshal Sir Roger Austin during the Patron-in-Chief visit on 13th May 2009.

The Club’s Visitors’ Book includes Prince Philip’s signature on nine occasions: 4th March 1958; 22nd February 1980; 12th March 1987; 16th February 1993; 20th May 1997; 13th November 2003; 25th October 2006; 15th November 2007; and 13th May 2009.

Air Cdre (Ret’d) Nigel Beet CBE

CEO/Club Secretary 

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