• Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Tribute to Prince Philip

‘Duke of Edinburgh had a unique role’

Prince Philip (Photo: Oli Scarff/Getty Images).

By: Radhakrishna N S

By Jaffer A Kapasi OBE FFA

Former Deputy Lieutenant Consul General of Uganda
Founder of JA Kapasi & Co Ltd, accountants and business advisors

Jaffer A Kapasi

PRINCE PHILIP of course immersed himself whole­heartedly in national life, carving out a unique pub­lic role. He was the most energetic member of the royal family with, for many decades, the busiest engagement diary.

We share the loss of a man who perhaps did not receive as much public recognition as he should have for his endeavours.

I have had the good fortune of having lunch with Prince Philip twice and meeting him on three other occasions.

I met him at the Royal Maundy lunch at St Mar­tins House, Leicester Ca­thedral, on April 13, 2017; and previously, on Octo­ber 9, 2011, during a lunch event at the Zoroas­trian Centre in Harrow, north London, where I had an opportunity to talk to him for a while.

The Prince said he was delighted to join in the celebration of 150 years of the organisation. In his speech, he spoke of the tremendous contribution the Zoroastrians have made to this country.

“It’s a remarkable re­cord,” he said and noted that the UK’s first Indian MP came from the same community. He joked: “Nowadays, we are all for religious freedom, but it helps a lot if they are peaceful as well!”

He then mentioned that he had arrived in an Indian car and he soon realised we did not know what he was saying. The Duke had arrived in a Jag­uar Land Rover.

He said it occurred to him that he arrived in a Indian or Zoroastrian car (Jaguar Land Rover is owned by India’s Tata Mo­tors, which is part of a conglomerate set up by a Parsi industrialist).

As he left, Prince Philip pointed his finger at me, and asked, “What are you doing with the Parsee and Hindu leaders?”

I also met him at the opening of St Phillip Med­ical Centre in Leicester.

Eastern Eye

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