It was right to celebrate the life of Prince Philip - but he never did like a fuss

Prince Philip at Ipswich

Prince Philip's long life should have been celebrated - but he didn't like a fuss! - Credit: Archant

Over the last couple of weeks there's been a great deal written about the life - and death - of Prince Philip. 

There is no doubt that The Queen's husband had a massive impact on life in this country - and around the world - over the last 75 years.

His death was a tragedy for the family, especially Her Majesty, but his extraordinary long life is something that millions of people quite rightly had been marking and celebrating between his death and his funeral.

Personally, I don't see the death of a 99-year-old after a remarkably healthy life as a tragedy for those outside his immediate family circle.

But given the work he has done over the years, his life certainly deserved to be celebrated - and much of the television and general media coverage was very worthwhile in this respect.

Most people know of the gaffes and the foot-in-mouth comments that made headlines over the years, but programmes emphasising his role in setting up the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme and his work in helping to found and promote the World Wildlife Fund may have passed many people by.

But in the history of these organisations he was absolutely crucial.

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His wartime career was outstanding - and he certainly had all the skills to rise to the very top of the Royal Navy had his destiny not taken him in a very different direction.

Prince Philip at Snape in 1967

Prince Philip at Snape in 1967 - he has had a profound effect on our lives over the last 75 years. - Credit: Archant

The television programmes highlighting those aspects of his life were very worthwhile - and while some people may have felt there were too many, overall it was right to cover as much as possible.

Where I do take issue with broadcasters, especially the BBC, is in the tone of some of the coverage and the sheer volume that we had to face in the first two or three days.

I really don't see why every BBC television and radio programme should have been pulled on the day of his death and replaced by rolling coverage. 

Yes, the rolling coverage should have been there. It should probably have been on the BBC's main channels - BBC One and Radio Four - but beyond that why couldn't other channels continue with their usual content, even if it was tweaked to ensure good taste.

I could see why Have I Got News for You might be considered a bit trivial under the circumstances, but why pull Gardeners' World?

And the BBC4 situation was straight out of the script of W1A and the playbook of Iain Fletcher. The channel was pulled and replaced by a note saying why. But it also told viewers that the scheduled live England football international friendly was available on the Red Button. Why not just put it on the normal channel?

I know I'm not alone in feeling like this. I spoke to one member of the "Suffolk Establishment" who said to me: "I really learned some things about him that I never knew before - but why did they put everything on every channel? Knowing a bit of what he was like, I'm sure he would have disliked dominating all the airwaves!"

Prince Philip's death was a huge news story. His life deserved all the attention and analysis it got. He truly was a titan who influenced the world for three quarters of a century.

But maybe some media outlets should have also borne in mind that he was someone who didn't really like a lot of fuss made of himself!

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