Our Royal Patron, The Duke of Edinburgh, has died

Published Date
Emma Smith-Bodie
Muscular Dystrophy UK

Prince Philip, Royal Patron of Muscular Dystrophy UK, has died.





  • His Royal Highness became Royal Patron in 1966
  • He hosted a special event at Buckingham Palace in 2016 to celebrate 50 years of MDUK
  • CEO Catherine Woodhead has paid tribute to HRH’s ‘dedicated’ patronage

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Royal Patron of Muscular Dystrophy UK for more than 50 years, has died.

The sad news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at the age of 99 was announced by Buckingham Palace.

Prince Philip became Royal Patron of MDUK in 1966, following a request from the late Lord Richard Attenborough, the charity’s then President. His support has enabled MDUK to play a vital role in leading the fight to beat muscle-wasting conditions, through funding research and campaigning for change.

Although Prince Philip stepped down from active duties in May 2017, he continued to serve as patron of Muscular Dystrophy UK. In 2016, Prince Philip hosted a special event at St James’s Palace to celebrate 50 years of support for MDUK when he met Sir Alex Ferguson, Dame Mary Peters, Paralympian hopefuls and supporters of the charity.

Catherine Woodhead, Chief Executive of Muscular Dystrophy UK, said:

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip. His dedicated patronage for so many years has been a precious asset in the fight against muscle-wasting conditions. Prince Philip had the kindness and foresight to lend his backing to a charity focused on what were then little known, poorly understood conditions. The Duke’s backing remained an immense encouragement throughout his patronage, most recently hosting an event in 2016 at St James’s Palace.


Through the decades, Prince Philip has helped to raise awareness and promote understanding of this vitally important cause. He met with a great many people and families who were encouraged by his understanding of their condition – not only the physical challenges they faced, but the emotional challenges for them and their families too. He was also aware of the barriers that needed to be overcome to enable them to live well with muscular dystrophy. These moments and memories of his wholehearted support will be cherished for many years to come.


Muscular Dystrophy UK will remain forever grateful to our Patron, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.”

Tanvi Vyas is a Trustee of Muscular Dystrophy UK and met HRH at Buckingham Palace in 2016. She said:

It was a fantastic opportunity to meet Prince Philip and rather surreal sharing a stage with him. I found him really charismatic, charming and well-humoured. He had an incredible memory, and recalled meeting me on a previous occasion which was really surprising considering the number of people he must meet. It has been wonderful that Prince Philip supported the charity and its aims for many years.”

For press enquiries, please email pressoffice@musculardystrophyuk.org

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