RNID is mourning the loss of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who was a committed patron of the charity since 1958 and hosted a reception in Buckingham Palace on the day of his 90th birthday to mark the organisation’s centenary in 2011.
Prince Philip’s interest in hearing loss stemmed from his mother, HRH Princess Alice of Battenberg, who was born deaf and so adept at lipreading that people could not guess that she had difficulty in hearing. The Prince first got to know the charity’s work in 1956 when he opened a hostel for young deaf men in Wembley, London and in 1998, he generously agreed to take a hearing test to launch a campaign encouraging more people to get their hearing tested. In 1999, he had a full hearing loss examination, while at a reception held at Bonn House, in Mayfair, where he was escorted by RNID Adviser and Centenary Director, Philip Bonn, the great grandson of the RNID’s Founder.
RNID Chief Executive Mark Atkinson said:
“On behalf of the RNID, and of the founding Bonn Family; now in its fourth generation of service to the RNID; I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who for more than half a century, served as our Royal Patron. His Royal Highness was a great champion of our cause and will be immensely missed by all.
“Prince Phillip recognised deaf people and those with hearing loss through his long interest in our work, which was highlighted in 2011 when he kindly hosted a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark our centenary. It was a great honour for our charity to celebrate our achievements on the Prince’s 90th birthday and he made it a truly memorable day by graciously speaking with our Founder’s Representative, staff, supporters and volunteers; about their inspirational work for deaf people and those with hearing loss. Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and with the Royal family at this sad time.”