FURTHER to the Letter from Alan Commons in last week’s Dispatch regarding medals worn by the royal princes and princesses (‘So How Did Royal Princes Earn Their Medals?’)
I do have some sympathy with the thrust of his comments. However, in the interests of fairness and accuracy, Mr Commons may wish to be aware of the following:
Prince Philip served as a young Royal Navy officer on His Majesty’s ships on active service during the Second World War. So therefore, a large proportion of his decorations were earned ‘in anger’, so to speak.
On one of his medals, he has attached an ‘Oak Leaf’, which indicates he was Mentioned In Despatches for his actions during a particular naval engagement.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that Prince Andrew wears the South Atlantic Medal for service as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot during the Falklands War.
Prince Harry also wears a campaign medal for service (albeit brief) in Afghanistan.
Some medals worn by royalty are, of course, personal gifts from the Queen. Some of them are time-honoured awards and go with the territory, so to speak.
On a wider point, medals and awards are not only given for active service but also awarded to civilian personnel in recognition of years of valuable service to our communities, or an individual’s act of heroism. All these individuals are extremely proud to receive and to wear them.
So I hope this small contribution goes some way to helping Mr Commons understand some of the background to awards currently worn by our royals.
To associate these awards, especially those for active service, in the same breath as badges for home economics and outdoor pursuits, is a tad wide of the mark and, perhaps, ever so slightly disingenuous.