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Prince Philip’s brilliant roasting to Matt Hancock ‘Typical of politicians- Know nothing!’

Prince Philip: IDS shares story about Duke and Matt Hancock

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Conservative former party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the Duke of Edinburgh’s death “represents the passing, finally, of the greatest generation”. Sir Iain told the Commons: “I hope my right honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Health, doesn’t mind if I relay one particular story so typical of His Royal Highness. “We were in the receiving line for civil service awards and I was standing but one or two away from Mr Hancock when the Duke of Edinburgh arrived.”

Sir Iain added: “He came through just behind the Queen and as he was getting to Mr Hancock, asking people what they did, he asked him: ‘what do you do?’

“And Mr Hancock boldly announced, this was some years ago, that he had just been put in charge of nuclear submarines. ‘But’, he said smiling, ‘I don’t know anything at all about them Your Royal Highness’.

“Whereupon he guffawed immediately and said ‘how typical, typical of politicians – in charge of something and not a single clue about it’, he said, roared with laughter and walked on.

“Everyone else in complete and utter silence.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s willingness to sacrifice his career and put the Queen first has been hailed in the House of Commons.

Conservative former prime minister Theresa May said the duke “understood the requirements of responsibility” and the demands of duty, adding she knew how important it is to have a husband who is a “rock” in time of trouble.

Labour’s Harriet Harman, the Mother of the House, said Philip was “ahead of his time” by choosing to put himself second and make his central role in life to support his wife.

The Commons was recalled from its Easter recess one day early to allow MPs to pay tribute to the duke following his death on Friday, aged 99.

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Speaking in the chamber, Mrs May said: “Perhaps the most important aspect of his life was his absolute commitment to supporting Her Majesty the Queen.

“I know it is in no way comparable but I know how important it is to have a husband, a partner who is a source of strength and a rock in time of trouble.

“As a hugely talented person, Prince Philip could have been enormously successful in his own right but he put his life to ensuring the success of his wife.

“It was that willingness to put himself second and to serve, to understand the importance of duty and to exercise it day in and day out.

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“That will be his true lasting legacy and which should be an inspiration to us all.

“And all of us here in the UK and across the Commonwealth have so much to be grateful to him for and we say thank you. He understood the requirements of responsibility, the demands of duty and the sacrifices of service.

“We will never see his like again, may he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Mrs May also recalled spending time with the duke at Balmoral, noting: “My husband and I, as everybody knows, enjoy walking and we were able to do some walks there and Prince Philip very kindly suggested a particular walk to us.”

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