Sport

Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh – a royal cricketer

By far the best cricketer in the royal family, we look back and celebrate the love and passion Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh had for the sport.

The duke’s love for cricket began from a young age, while attending school at Gordonstoun he captained the first team and continued to play throughout his childhood.

He was an all-rounder and is said to have use the tennis lawns at Windlesham Moor, a former royal residence for the couple, where he would practice playing with the servants.

Her Majesty the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, was also encouraged to get involved, with Michael Parker, an old navy friend of the Prince hired as wicketkeeper.

A photo taken in 1957 shows Prince Phillip playing in a charity match with a squad led by the Duke of Norfolk.

File:Prince Philip playing cricket in 1957.jpg
CRICKETER: Prince Philip in 1957 via Wikipedia Commons

Proceeds went to the National Playing Fields Association, which Phillip was then president of.

In 2013 he stepped down from that role, and was succeeded by his grandson Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

Once asked if there was anything, he would change about modern cricket he said: “I only wish that some of their trousers fitted better.”

He was patron and twelfth man at the Lord’s Taverners, a charity that serves as a leader in supporting youth cricket, until his death.

Known for his off-the-cuff comments, when opening a brand-new stand at Lord’s in 2017, he said: “You’re about to see the world’s most experienced plaque-unveiler.”

As well as his great service to the charity, he also played for the Taverners XI and helped to introduce the Lord’s Taverners ECB Trophy which is presented annually to the cricket county champions.

This included presenting the trophy to the famous Lancashire side of 2011, who won the competition outright for the first time in 77 years.

At the time skipper Glen Chapple described the Duke as funny calling it a great honour to visit Buckingham Palace for a reception.

Both Queen Elizabeth and the duke have always been huge cricket fans, with it rumoured that the Queen was once caught sneaking off early from an engagement to catch the day’s highlights.

The pair even wrote to the England World Cup team in 2019 to wish them luck in their final match against New Zealand.

The resulting match was described as one of the greatest and most dramatic in the history of the sport.

While the Duke of Edinburgh will be rightly remembered for his exceptional public service, his love for cricket allows us to remember the charming more personal side that we don’t usually get to see from the royals.

To check out all of SWL’s Prince Philip coverage click here.

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