Prince Philip: An avid sportsman and a patron of countless sports organisations


The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who played a leading figure in the British royal family for almost seven decades, passed away at the age of 99 on Friday.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the Buckingham Palace said. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

Prince Philip’s interest in a wide array of sports — from cricket to rugby — is a known fact among those who follow the Royal family.

Prince Philip’s love for cricket is well-documented and his reactions at being asked to move to the next event while watching a Test match between England and Australia at the MCG in 1977 are proof of that.

The Duke of Edinburgh was passionate about cricket and had also become MCC president for two terms in 1949 and 1974. Wearing his red and gold MCC tie, the Duke also opened the new ‘Warner Stand’ at Lord’s cricket ground in 2017.

According to Le Grand Magazine, Prince Philip was the captain of the cricket and hockey teams while at school and was in the middle of polo lessons when World War II broke out. He was a well-known figure in Equestrian and gave up playing polo at the age of 50 in 1971 due to arthritis.

He was a world champion in carriage driving in 1980 and was even president of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports from 1964 to 1986. The Prince also authored a number of books on Competition Carriage Driving and Driving and Judging Dressage.

Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip present a cup to Pele, right, at a stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during a state tour of South Americain 1968. (AP)

Making regular appearances at football events, he was also with officials with Arsenal, of the Premier League, when the club opened Emirates Stadium in 2006.

Philip was seen in the audience back in 2015, attending the Rugby World Cup final in Twickenham with grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry. He was also regularly seen along with the Queen celebrating victories of their horses she owned, including thrilling 2013 Gold Cup winner Estimate.

Queen Elizabeth II, right, accompanied by Prince Philip attend the Braemar Gathering in Braemar, Scotland in September 2013. (AP)

Prince Philip was also president or patron of hundreds of sporting organisations, including the Modern Pentathlon Association, the Army and Royal Air Force Boxing Clubs, The British Racing Drivers’ Club, The Jockey Club, and The Lord’s Taverners.

Here is how the sports world reacted:

Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle. Philip was a member of the Greek royal family and was born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921.

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