'A little bit of a scallywag:' MPs pay tribute to the late Prince Philip

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Apr 2021, 5:07PM

'A little bit of a scallywag:' MPs pay tribute to the late Prince Philip

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 13 Apr 2021, 5:07PM

Members of Parliament from both sides of the House this afternoon paid tribute to the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

"He was also a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told MPs.

"Prince Philip added to the world," according to National leader Judith Collins.

Act leader David Seymour struck a slightly different tone, referring to Prince Philip as "a little bit of a scallywag".

But the comment was made in jest, in the context of his "legendary wit".

"But there's another side to him that I think many people enjoyed, that His Royal Highness — I think it's okay to say — was a little bit of a scallywag from time to time, and many people have struggled to reconcile these two sides of the Duke of Edinburgh."

And it was his wit that was the focus of many speeches.

Ardern said he would be "long remembered" for his sense of humour.

"Prince Philip will be long remembered for his down-to-earth style and formidable sense of humour. Sometimes his directness created controversy, but he never shied away from his sense of duty."

Green Party co-leader James Shaw only spoke briefly during the special sitting – in which he extended his condolences to the Queen.

"I'd like to echo the words of his grandson, Prince William, who said: 'I know he would want us to get on with the job'."

The party's other co-leader, Marama Davidson – who has been a critic of the role of the British Monarchy in colonisation – was not in the House this afternoon.

But a spokesperson said that was because she had a "personal matter" to attend to.

Also absent from the special sitting were the Māori Party co-leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

The pair have also been critical of the role of the royal family, in regards to the colonisation of New Zealand.

But Packer told the Herald she was not in the House because she was at a tangi and, because of the poor mobile phone coverage in the area, didn't get the notice of the special sitting until late last night.

But both she, and Waititi, will be in the House tomorrow.

Parliament adjourned for the day after the speeches finished – usually the House sits until 10pm on a Tuesday.

The state memorial service for Prince Philip will be at Wellington Cathedral of St Paul at 3pm on April 21, and attended by the PM and Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy.

The flags on public buildings would be at half-mast on that day, as well as the day of the funeral in the UK on April 17.