As President of The Royal Mint Advisory Committee (RMAC), Prince Philip’s role was to lead the group of people overseeing the design of coins, medals and seals of the UK and for ensuring the quality of their design. He united the Committee’s experts with good humour and a sound understanding of the importance of the nation’s coinage.
His appointment coincided with the death of George VI, The Queen’s father. It was a difficult time for the Royal Family and for The Royal Mint as a new suite of coins, medals and seals, bearing a portrait of the new monarch, was required for the fifth time in just 50 years.
The Duke of Edinburgh provided a direct link to The Queen and voiced his opinion on the likenesses of his wife created by artists. He was present at The Queen’s sitting with Mary Gillick, offering encouragement and advice as the artist worked on the first coinage portrait of the monarch.
Prince Philip carried out his role with great dedication and interest for more than 40 years, overseeing the creation of four of The Queen’s definitive coinage portraits and the coins for decimalisation, and remaining President until 1999.
“You have brought to our Committee zest and humour as well as dignity and authority, and I would also say that I have enormously admired the way in which you have encouraged us to respond to imaginative ideas and to innovation ..."
John Porteous at the farewell lunch held for Prince Philip’s retirement from The Royal Mint Advisory Committee, 1999