The Marine Biological Association (MBA) is sad to hear of the death of our Patron, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip has been the Patron of the MBA since 1953. He has shown a keen interest in raising public awareness of the relationship of humanity with the environment and was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the Association in 2014.
A number of MBA staff had the privilege of meeting His Royal Highness over the years and he showed himself both interested and passionate when it came to discussing marine environmental issues. In 2014, for example, he attended an event celebrating the granting of a Royal Charter to the MBA and spent a great deal of time speaking to those present including a lively discussion with a number of marine biology students.
HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh attends an evening celebrating the granting of our Royal Charter in 2014.
It was as recent as February 2021 that we received a communication from His Royal Highness thanking our President, Dr Gill Rider, for providing him with our Annual Report and magazine, The Marine Biologist.
When MBA Director, Professor Willie Wilson, first worked at the Laboratory as an MBA Fellow (around 1999), he was lucky enough to meet His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh at one of the Buckingham Palace Garden Parties. Recalling the day, Willie said, “I started describing the genetics of marine viruses, then His Royal Highness responded by discussing the theory of the Selfish Gene because he had just read Richard Dawkin’s book on it” recalls Willie, “I just found Prince Philip incredibly engaging and he seemed genuinely interested in the MBA.”
In response to hearing the news Gill said, “We are terribly sad to hear that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has passed away. He has been an excellent Patron for the MBA and we have valued his contributions over the years enormously. We of course pass on our condolences to Her Majesty The Queen at this sad time.”