Reposted from: HRH Prince Philip 68 Years a Mason (essexfreemasons.org.uk)
HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh
68 Years a Subscribing Freemason and The Temple That Never Was.
The Brethren of the Province of Essex, especially our Royal Navy veterans, send their Fraternal Congratulations to HRH Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh on being a fully paid up subscribing Freemason for 68 years.
On 5th December 1952, the Duke of Edinburgh was initiated into Navy Lodge No 2612, whose past members include the late HM King George VI, Shackleton and Scott of the Antarctic. The Earl of Scarborough, the Grand Master, and Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury, were in attendance.
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a formal dinner at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1939. Their Majesties were accommodated in the Captain’s Quarters and Cadet Philip (18) was asked to escort the Princesses Elizabeth (13) and Margaret for the evening.
It was there Princess Elizabeth fell in love and both began exchanging letters. They married in 1947. Philip graduated from Dartmouth in 1940 as the best cadet on his course and served with distinction in WWII receiving a Mention in Dispatches for gallantry at the Battle of Cape Matapan.
Both the Captain’s Quarters and the Chapel of Britannia Royal Naval College are close by in the main building which was built in 1905. The interior of the Chapel was originally designed for use as a place of multidenominational worship, a Masonic Temple and as an emergency hospital.
With Freemasonry already being well established in the community in Dartmouth with its own temple for lodge meetings there has never been a need to use the facility in the Royal Naval College. It remains ‘the Temple that never was’.