The sad news of the death of Prince Philip on Friday has brought much media coverage about the man and his achievements.
While he has been a public figure, and familiar to all of us, for so long, we always learn more about the essential goodness of an individual on their death, and also the troubles and challenges they had to overcome.
While there have been numerous biographies about Prince Philip and more will undoubtedly follow, I was surprised to learn that he enjoyed poetry, was a great letter-writer and had also written, or co-written, some 15 books himself. Many of these were collected speeches, others recalled his carriage driving, and a number were about wildlife and his concern for the environment.
Though now we have entered a period of national mourning, this coincides with another step in the easing of lockdown.
It means from tomorrow we can visit bookshops and libraries again, to browse shelves and select new titles.
While we've noted how books have been a huge solace and inspiration to many of us in the past year, bookshops have, of course, not been considered essential. And in France this has been particularly contentious. However, in their current lockdown that decision has been revised. Now bookshops have been given special dispensation to remain open, considered as vital to life there as ... florists, music shops and chocolatiers.