RNLI names lifeboat in honour of The Duke of Edinburgh

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is proud to announce a new lifeboat will be named in honour of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The state-of-the-art Shannon class boat (ON1346) will be called Duke of Edinburgh in memory of Prince Philip, who passed away on 9 April this year, aged 99.

The RNLI is delighted to honour Prince Philip’s longstanding commitment to maritime services and lifetime of support to Her Majesty The Queen.

Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh have a long history with the RNLI. Her Majesty has been Patron of the lifesaving charity since 1952 and The Duke of Edinburgh became a member of the RNLI Council in 1972. Together, they visited several RNLI lifeboat stations over the years, the most recent being the opening of Cowes Lifeboat Station and the naming of its Atlantic 85 class boat in July 2012.

The announcement is being made 71 years to the day that The Duke of Edinburgh assumed command of HMS Magpie in 1950 – his very first sea-going command in the Royal Navy.

And in a further nod to that proud moment in his naval career, earlier this summer, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales attached a magpie engraved plate to the new lifeboat which will bear The Duke of Edinburgh’s name and which is currently being built at the RNLI’s All-weather Lifeboat Centre, in Poole, Dorset.

The lifeboat is due to go into service in late 2022 at Wells-next-the-Sea, just a short distance from Sandringham, the Royal Estate in Norfolk where The Duke of Edinburgh spent much of his time after stepping back from public duties in August 2017.

RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie said: ‘It’s a great honour, not just for Wells Lifeboat Station but for the RNLI as a whole.

‘We had hoped to mark The Duke of Edinburgh’s long service and support for the maritime sector by naming a lifeboat in his honour in his 100th year.

‘We heard that The Duke was pleased to learn of the plans to name a lifeboat after him and that it was going to be serving a community so close to Sandringham. Very sadly The Duke passed away before His Royal Highness could see it happen, but we are delighted to pay tribute to his legacy in this way today.’

Wells Lifeboat Operations Manager Chris Hardy said: ‘Wells Lifeboat Station is immensely proud and honoured to have its new Shannon class lifeboat named Duke of Edinburgh. We are in no doubt that our new lifeboat will continue the vital work of saving lives at sea, which we know His Royal Highness was so passionate about throughout his lifelong maritime association.’

The new lifeboat is the 53rd funded by the generosity of civil servant donations to The Lifeboat Fund as part of the Civil Service charity’s 150th anniversary appeal.

Chair of The Lifeboat Fund and Director of GCHQ, Sir Jeremy Fleming said: ‘The Lifeboat Fund is delighted to be the principal donor for the new lifeboat at Wells-next-the-Sea.

‘It’s the second lifeboat for Wells with a royal association, the first being the Royal Silver Jubilee that was on service at the station from 1936 to 1945. This one seems especially fitting.’

Notes to editors:

  • Interviews are available with the RNLI on request
  • Footage of a Shannon class lifeboat and the boat build, along with HRH The Prince of Wales attaching the commemorative waterline plate can be downloaded here
  • The Lifeboat Fund donated the majority of the funding for the boat with the rest provided by legacies together with a significant contribution from the Wells Community Appeal
  • Duke of Edinburgh will be the 53rd lifeboat to be funded through The Lifeboat Fund since the Civil Service first established a lifeboat funding charity in 1866. For more information on The Lifeboat Fund, visit www.thelifeboatfund.org.uk
  • An image of HRH The Prince of Wales attaching the magpie engraved plate can be downloaded here
  • A high-res image of the magpie engraved plate can be downloaded here
  • Her Majesty The Queen has been Patron of the RNLI since 1952

The list below details the RNLI lifeboats which have held or currently hold a royal name:
  • ON112 Queen Victoria, Bembridge (1887-1902)
  • ON404 Queen, New Brighton (1897-1923)
  • ON468 Queen Victoria, Bembridge (1901-22); Porthoustock (1922-31)
  • ON677 Prince David, Barry Dock (1927-37)
  • ON678 Edward, Prince of Wales, The Mumbles (1924-47)
  • ON715 Princess Mary, Padstow Harbour (1929-52)
  • ON719 Queen Victoria, St Peter Port (1929-40); Relief Fleet (1940-41); Killybegs (1941-45); St Peter Port (1945-54); Relief Fleet (1954-58)
  • ON769 Duke of York, The Lizard (1934-61)
  • ON780 Royal Silver Jubilee 1910-1935, Wells (1936-45)
  • ON828 The Princess Royal (Civil Service No. 7), Hartlepool (1939-68); Humber (1968-69); Relief Fleet (1969-76)
  • ON908 Duchess of Kent, Fraserburgh (1954-70)
  • ON945 Princess Alexandra of Kent, Torbay (1958-75); Relief Fleet (1975-78); Tynemouth (1979-80); Relief Fleet (1980-83)
  • ON952 Duke of Cornwall (Civil Service No. 33), The Lizard/ Cadgwith (1960-84); Padstow (1984); Relief Fleet (1984-89)
  • ON1016 Princess Marina, Wick (1970-88)
  • ON1046 Silver Jubilee – Civil Service No. 38, Margate 1978-91; Relief Fleet (1991-93)
  • ON1055 Duke of Kent, Eastbourne (1979-93)
  • ON1063 Princess of Wales, Barmouth (1982-92); Relief Fleet (1992-93)
  • ON1077 Duchess of Kent, Relief Fleet (1982-2002)
  • ON1149 The Queen Mother, Thurso (1989-2004); Longhope (2004-06); Relief Fleet (2006-09)
  • ON1167 The Princess Royal (Civil Service No. 41), St Ives (1990-2015); Relief Fleet (2015-16)
  • ON1189 Her Majesty The Queen, Relief Fleet (1993-96); Cromer (1996-99); Relief Fleet (1999); Lytham St Anne’s (1999-2018); Relief Fleet (2018-Present)
  • ON1226 Edward Duke of Windsor, Relief (1997-Present)
  • ON1251 Unnamed later became Princess Alexandra III, Trials (2000-2006)
  • ON1278 The Duke of Kent, Relief (2005-Present)
  • ON1303 Diamond Jubilee, Eastbourne (2012-Present)

For more information, please contact RNLI National Media Manager Andy Rose on 07976 523794 or email andrew_rose@rnli.org.uk, Regional Media Officer Clare Hopps on 07824 518641 or clare_hopps@rnli.org.uk

Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opening Cowes Lifeboat Station in July 2012

RNLI

Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opening Cowes Lifeboat Station in July 2012
Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh meeting crew members at RNLI Hartlepool in July 1977

RNLI

Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh meeting crew members at RNLI Hartlepool in July 1977
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh inspecting the crew of the Yarmouth lifeboat during a royal tour of the Isle of Wigh

RNLI

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh inspecting the crew of the Yarmouth lifeboat during a royal tour of the Isle of Wight

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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