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Fields in Trust, Prince Philip’s first national charity commitment, ‘deeply saddened’

Fields in Trust, an independent charity which protects green spaces, said it was ‘deeply saddened’ following the news of Prince Philip’s passing today.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that the Duke of Edinburgh died peacefully this morning, aged 99.

In a statement made this afternoon Fields in Trust praised the duke for his support over the years and highlighted many of his fundraising achievements.

The charity, which was previously called the National Playing Fields Association (NPFA), was the duke’s first national charity commitment and he served as its president for 64 years.

Fields in Trust chief executive Helen Griffiths commented: “We are enormously indebted to him for his support.

“His tireless efforts live on through many protected parks and green spaces and Fields in Trust’s continuing work.”

He became president of Fields in Trust in October 1948, before stepping down in 2013 to be replaced by his grandson The Duke of Cambridge who remains president today.

FUNDRAISING FILM: The duke starred in a short film featuring Bob Hope which reportedly raised £84,000 for the Silver Jubilee Fund

During his 64-year tenure, Prince Philip was heavily involved in the organisation particularly in its fundraising activities.

In 1948 he launched a fundraising campaign called the Silver Jubilee Fund which by 1952 had raised £500,000 for the charity.

He also delivered a spoken introduction to a recording of Frank Sinatra’s “If Only She’d Looked My Way”, widely accepted as the first charity record.

ROYAL WORDS: The duke connected with Frank Sinatra to make the first charity record

As a keen cricketer the duke played in multiple matches for the charity and in 1949 led a team of celebrities against the England test team in Bournemouth.

Over his 64-year tenure as president, the number of green spaces protected with Fields in Trust grew from 430 to 2,000, spanning an area of nearly 12,000 hectares.

You can read all of SWL’s Prince Philip coverage here.

Featured image credit: Fields in Trust

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