I am sure that all Islanders will wish to join me and my husband Jamie as we mourn the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

His Royal Highness has featured in the life of the nation for as long as most of us can remember, indeed few of us now can recall a time when he was not working alongside Her Majesty The Queen, supporting her in so many ways as she travelled around the country and the rest of the world during her long and busy reign.

But he will also be remembered for his own singular contributions to the fabric of the nation and the Commonwealth.

Many of you will have followed The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme and benefited from the far-sighted scheme which he instigated in 1956 and which, in his own words, “has helped countless young people on their sometimes difficult path to adulthood”. Those of you who achieved your Gold Award may well have attended receptions at St James’s Palace and discovered for yourselves what an extraordinarily inspirational man he was.

His Royal Highness was, of course, a keen and competitive sailor and was a regular and very popular visitor to Cowes Week. Indeed, through his leadership he was instrumental in setting up Cowes Combined Clubs, the body made up of all the clubs responsible for coordinating the racing today. His links with the Island were very special.

Her Majesty The Queen and all the members of the Royal Family are in our thoughts and prayers at this very sad time.

Mrs Susie Sheldon, HM Lord-Lieutenant

Friday 9th April 2021

You will find further details of the planned sequence of events at both National and local level in the following pages.