The death of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, on April 9th 2021, marks the end of an era for many of us who have never known a time when he has not been a presence in our lives. Many, many words are being written about his life, his influence on society and the community, and his many distinguished attributes.
My thoughts focus on carriage driving, particularly the RDA’s Carriage Driving for the Disabled which owes a debt of gratitude to the Duke. In 1974, Prince Philip, who had taken up carriage-driving to get him out of the house after he had to give up polo through arthritis, commented that
“a small vehicle with a pony harnessed to it could, I am sure, give disabled children and adults endless pleasure and a feeling of even greater independence than they have at present in the excellent Riding for the Disabled scheme”.
And so it was in 1975, carriage driving was introduced as an activity within the RDA, and to this day Groups such as Cherry Park exist to benefit disabled people in so many ways that they might not have expected.
Some of our Group will have had the honour and privilege of meeting the Duke over the years. If you have any stories to tell of your meeting or indeed, any tribute you would like to give, please do share it via Comments.
The Duke of Edinburgh was a unique force for honesty, enterprise and innovation and I am grateful to have had him in my world for so long.
On behalf of Cherry Park Driving Group, our thoughts and sympathies go out to Her Majesty the Queen and her family at this very sad time.
The Royal Family have stated that, rather than leave flowers, those who wish to should donate to their desired charity. If you feel you wish to do so please feel free to donate via our donate buttons.