South Dakota professor, a UK native, remembers interaction with Prince Philip

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The United Kingdom is in mourning after the death of Prince Philip, who has been married to Queen Elizabeth II for over 70-years.

The Royal Family said his royal highness passed away peacefully Friday morning.

Prince Philip had been admitted to the hospital several times throughout the last decade, most recently spending several weeks in the hospital one month ago.

The Duke of Edinburgh was born as the prince of Greece and Denmark in 1921.

Before marrying the Queen, he was a member of the British Royal Navy and fought in World War II.

Associate History professor for South Dakota State University, Graham Wrightson, grew up in the United Kingdom and had a personal interaction with Prince Philip.

“He came to visit my University, University of Cambridge. He walked right below my apartment. We thought it would be funny to play really loud music as he was walking by, so we played Eye Of The Tiger from Rocky, and we were belting it out and singing it. So, he stopped below our window and joked to us about our music choice and that we should be doing work instead of playing music,” said Wrightson.

The prince will be remembered for his many passions including painting, horses, sailing, and environmental conservation.

“He meant a lot as the figurehead next to the queen, as the private side, as the figurehead for service, for putting yourself second and the country first which is pretty much what the royal family is about,” said Wrightson.

The Prince also founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which aims to empower young people from all communities to build skills, confidence, and resilience.

“I don’t think he could have imagined that more than a million young people at any one time now would be participating in a program that bears his name,” said John May, Secretary-General of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation.

The Royal Family will have a morning period of 30 days. On Saturday gun salutes will sound from land and warships across the United Kingdom and beyond to mark Prince Philip’s passing.

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