Prince Charles deputised for Queen on personal visit as he moves closer to becoming king

Prince Charles 'won't be outspoken' as king says expert

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Prince Charles, 72, visited ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ in June – a new Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat which, as it was revealed today, has been named after his late father Prince Philip. During this low-profile trip to the RNLI Lifeboat Centre in Poole, the Prince of Wales gave a nod to the Duke’s naval career by installing a silver plate with an engraved magpie on the boat.

Pictures taken on the day show the heir to the throne fixing the tiny plate to the boat with a screwdriver.

This gesture was a clear reference to HMS Magpie, of which Prince Philip assumed the command on this day in 1950.

Charles carried out the visit on the ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ to honour Prince Philip alone.

And he may have deputised for the grieving Queen – who at the time had recently lost her husband. 

Prince Philip died on April 9 at Windsor Castle – just a few months before turning 100.

In June, the Queen had already resumed her working routine after a period of royal mourning.

Among the highlights of her diary from that month, there have been the first in-person audience with Prime Minister Boris Johnson since the beginning of the pandemic and her royal tour of Scotland.

Despite being still in sparkling form, the 95-year-old Queen has been deputising duties to other members of her family or has been accompanied more often to engagements outside the palace’s walls. 

Of the Queen’s six engagements already announced by Buckingham Palace taking place between October and early November, Her Majesty is set to be accompanied by another member of the Firm to three.

The new RNLI lifeboat was initially meant to be named after the Duke’s title to mark his centenary.

The ‘Duke of Edinburgh’ lifeboat is set to go into service in 2022 at Wells-next-the-Sea, near Sandringham.

The location is particularly poignant, as Prince Philip spent much of his retirement from royal duties between the summer of 2017 and March 2020 at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate. 

Prince Philip was aware the RNLI wanted to pay tribute to his legacy and naval career and had welcomed the gesture, Buckingham Palace said.

Mark Dowie, the chief executive of the RNLI, spoke about the tribute paid by the charity to the longest-serving British royal consort.

He said: “It’s a great honour, not just for Wells Lifeboat Station but for the RNLI as a whole.

“We had hoped to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s long service and support for the maritime sector by naming a lifeboat in his honour in his 100th year. 

“We heard that the Duke was pleased to learn of the plans to name a lifeboat after him and that it was going to be serving a community so close to Sandringham.

“Very sadly, the Duke passed away before His Royal Highness could see it happen, but we are delighted to pay tribute to his legacy in this way today.”

The new lifeboat is the 53rd funded by civil servant donations to The Lifeboat Fund as part of the charity’s 150th-anniversary appeal.

The RNLI is one of the charities Prince Philip has been associated with during his long career as a working royal. 

While the Queen has been the patron of the organisation since 1952, the late Duke became a member of the RNLI Council in 1972.

Another senior royal linked with RNLI is the Duke of Kent, who has been its president since 1969 when he succeeded his parents in the role.

Among the engagements carried out in support of the charity saving lives at sea off the coasts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland, Prince Philip opened the RNLI College in 2004 with Her Majesty and the Duke of Kent. 

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