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Prince Philip: A Celebration display opens at Windsor Castle

Release date: Thursday, 24 June 2021

From Thursday, 24 June to 20 September 2021, a visit to Windsor Castle will include a special display commemorating the remarkable life and legacy of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Britain’s longest-serving consort. An accompanying souvenir publication and official commemorative range are also available from today. 

Through more than 120 objects, Prince Philip: A Celebration charts significant events and achievements in The Duke of Edinburgh’s life, including his early life and naval career, his role as consort, his support for the sovereign at home and abroad, and his wide-ranging patronages and associations. The display is located in St George’s Hall and the Lantern Lobby, two spaces that were devastated by the Windsor Castle fire of 1992, and whose restoration was overseen by His Royal Highness as Chair of the Restoration Committee.

On public display for the first time is a portrait of Prince Philip painted by Ralph Heimans in 2017, the year of His Royal Highness’s retirement from public engagements. The painting, which measures more than 2 m wide and 1.6 m high, shows His Royal Highness standing in the Grand Corridor at Windsor Castle. At the end of the Grand Corridor is the Tapestry Room where Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Alice, and maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria, were born. The Journal in which Queen Victoria recorded the birth of Princess Alice will also be on display. 

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, 2017, Ralph Heimans

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, 2017, Ralph Heimans ©

A highlight of the display is a section bringing together for the first time items relating to Prince Philip’s role in The Queen’s Coronation of 1953. The Coronation Robe and Coronet worn by Prince Philip during the service will be on display, alongside His Royal Highness’s Chair of Estate (usually located in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace), and a scene of the Coronation that he commissioned from the expressionist painter Feliks Topolski. 

His Royal Highness’s patronage of modern art and design is reflected through works that he commissioned and collected throughout his life. These include examples of studio pottery by artists such as Lucie Rie and Arthur Griffiths, acquired for a suite of guest rooms at Windsor Castle designed by Sir Hugh Casson in the 1960s. Also on display will be the first sculpture that Prince Philip commissioned – a bronze bust by the Maltese sculptor Vincent Apap. 

Gifts presented to Prince Philip during State Visits, overseas tours and official engagements demonstrate the extent of His Royal Highnesses travel in support of Her Majesty The Queen. Examples include a First Nations feather headdress presented to The Prince during a Commonwealth visit to Canada in 1973 and a wine cooler in the shape of a giant grasshopper presented by President Pompidou of France in 1972.

The Duke of Edinburgh was installed as a Knight of the Garter in St George’s Chapel in 1948 and marked many public and private occasions there. His funeral took place in St George’s Chapel on 17 April 2021. A display of archival material and historic photographs in the Chapel’s south quire aisle celebrates his faith and service to society, his support of the Chapel and his role in the foundation and development of St George’s House consultation centre.

The display is included in standard admission price to Windsor Castle

Related exhibition
Prince Philip: A Celebration

Commemorating the remarkable life and legacy of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh