New £2.5 million Norfolk lifeboat to be named after Prince Philip

Prince Philip became a member of the RNLI Council in 1972.

Prince Philip became a member of the RNLI Council in 1972. - Credit: PA

A state-of-the-art lifeboat bound for Norfolk is to be named after Prince Philip.

The RNLI has announced the £2.5 million Shannon class vessel will be called Duke of Edinburgh in memory of Prince Philip, who passed away on April 9, aged 99.

Mark Dowie, the RNLI's chief executive, said the naming was to honour Prince Philip’s longstanding commitment to maritime services and lifetime of support to the Queen.  

The magpie engraved plate on the hull of the lifeboat Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station. 

The magpie engraved plate on the hull of the lifeboat Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station. - Credit: RNLI

Mr Dowie said: ‘It’s a great honour, not just for Wells Lifeboat Station but for the RNLI as a whole. 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."

A Shannon class lifeboat similar to the vessel Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station.

A Shannon class lifeboat similar to the vessel Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station. - Credit: RNLI


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The Queen has been patron of the lifesaving charity since 1952 and Prince Philip became a member of the RNLI Council in 1972.

The announcement is being made 71 years to the day that Prince Philip assumed command of HMS Magpie in 1950 – his very first sea-going command in the Royal Navy.

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In a nod to that proud moment, earlier this summer Prince Charles attached a plate engraved with a magpie to the new lifeboat, which is under construction at the RNLI's centre in Poole.

A new lifeboat station is being built at

A new lifeboat station is being built at Wells-next-the-Sea to house the Shannon class lifeboat to be called Duke of Edinburgh. - Credit: RNLI

RNLI crew member sand station photographer Ray West on to

RNLI crew member sand station photographer Ray West on top of the new lifeboat station is being built at Wells-next-the-Sea to house the Shannon class lifeboat to be called Duke of Edinburgh. - Credit: Wells RNLI

A new lifeboat house is being built to house the Duke of Edinburgh vessel, which is due to arrive for the building's opening in autumn next year. 

Chris Hardy, the station's operations manager, said: "We are in no doubt that our new lifeboat will continue the vital work of saving lives at sea, which we know His Royal Highness was so passionate about throughout his lifelong maritime association."

HRH The Prince of Wales visiting the Lifeboat Centre in Poole, including the College, All-Weather Li

Prince Charles attaching a magpie engraved plate on the hull of the lifeboat Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station. - Credit: RNLI/Nathan Williams

Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. His first command, in 1950, was HMS Magpie. 

Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. His first command, in 1950, was HMS Magpie. - Credit: PA

Duke of Edinburgh will be the 53rd lifeboat to be funded through the Lifeboat Fund since the Civil Service first established a lifeboat funding charity in 1866.

Up to 10,000 names are to be displayed within the letters and numbers RNLI 13-46 on the boat's hull as part of a fundraising Launch a Memory project. Visit rnli.org/support-us/give-money/donate-in-memory/launch-a-memory to find out more. 

A new lifeboat station is being built at Wells-next-the-Sea to

Inside the new lifeboat station is being built at Wells-next-the-Sea to house the Shannon class lifeboat to be called Duke of Edinburgh. - Credit: Wells RNLI

A new lifeboat station is being built at Wells-next-the-Sea

A new lifeboat station is being built at Wells-next-the-Sea to house the Shannon class lifeboat to be called Duke of Edinburgh. - Credit: Wells RNLI

File photo of the Queen and Prince Philip. The royal couple have been long-standing supporters of the RNLI over the decades. 

File photo of the Queen and Prince Philip. The royal couple have been long-standing supporters of the RNLI over the decades. - Credit: RNAA

A Shannon class lifeboat similar to the vessel Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station.

A Shannon class lifeboat similar to the vessel Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station. - Credit: RNLI

A Shannon class lifeboat similar to the vessel Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station.

A Shannon class lifeboat similar to the vessel Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station. - Credit: RNLI

Montrose Shannon class lifeboat Ian Grant Smith 13-10 during a training exercise.

A Shannon class lifeboat similar to the vessel Duke of Edinburgh, which will be based at Wells Lifeboat Station. - Credit: RNLI


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