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Saturday, 25 April 2009

Duke of Edinburgh

Now Duke of Edinburgh has become the longest-ever serving consort of a British sovereign, I thought I should share a few thoughts about him.
In the 1970s I was a City Councillor for a while, during that time the Queen and Duke visited Bath.
As a very new councillor I was stuck in the back row as the Queen and Duke walked down the line being introduced the important people in the front row.
Wendy and I were standing about 5 rows back beside Fred Gilbert a labour councillor who seemed old at the time, but was probably 60.
As the Duke drew level with us he stopped and pointed to Fred in the back row, and said “I remember that face”
Fred said “I was a bandsman on The Royal Yacht Britannia”.
Fred was very pleased and we were amazed that considering how many face the Duke see’s every day he remembered Fred.
The day the Duke became the only Royal to speak to me in 25years.
I was at Lackham College for a Duke of Edinburgh awards function, and after spending an hour looking for someone from our circulation area, found two girls in the line-up to meet the Duke.
Now the line-up was arranged in a half circle and I couldn’t risk missing the picture if someone moved out of line.
So I went to the girls about three spaces down and explained I would stick the camera through the gap between them and take a picture.
 All went well till the duke heard the motor winder fire about six pictures and he looked at me and said “Slow down slow down I’m here for ages yet”.
I was so surprised I said “I’m sorry sir I needed a picture of these girls”
 Glen Philips from the Wiltshire Times caught my surprised look!

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