Prince Philip: Sir David Hempleman-Adams mourns 'real, wonderful' Philip

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The Duke of Edinburgh, Sir David and his daughter Alicia at a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh awards in October 2005Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The Duke of Edinburgh, Sir David and his daughter Alicia at a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh awards in October 2005

Explorer Sir David Hempleman-Adams said the Duke of Edinburgh was "a real, wonderful person" and a "surrogate father" to him for decades.

Sir David said Prince Philip's Duke of Edinburgh's Award had introduced him to "adventure" at 13 and the duke was a patron on many of his expeditions.

They were in regular contact until recently and Sir David said he was a "huge influence" on his life.

"He brought so much to so many people," Sir David said.

"He was very generous, very kind, very thoughtful, a real, wonderful person and I think our country owes him a huge debt."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Prince Philip handing Sir David the Aero Club Cup at Buckingham Palace in June 2011

Sir David, of Box, Wiltshire, is the first man to have reached the geographic and magnetic North and South Poles and to climb the highest peaks on seven continents.

"Whenever he was a patron on my expeditions [the duke] would get me up to his library," he said.

"It was a real interrogation of what I was doing and when I got back he would always ask really searching questions.

"It wasn't just a tick of a box - he really was interested."

He said Prince Philip had been a "surrogate father" after Sir David's own father died in his 50s.

"I met him a lot of times because I did the [Duke of Edinburgh's Award] and then I was a patron of his scheme so we had quite a lot of time together," Sir David added.

"He brought so much to so many people, and so many millions of people who did his scheme.

"[Taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award] was at the right time of my life to be a huge influence."

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