Prince Philip: Sussex readers share memories of meeting the Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip was married to the Queen for 73 years and attended thousands of official engagements during that time.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 5:16 pm

With this in mind we asked readers across Sussex to share their stories of the times they met the Duke of Edinburgh.

Memories ranged from meeting him while receiving their gold Duke of Edinburgh awards, to a soldier who met him at the Royal Windsor Tattoo, and students who met him when he opened Durrington High School in Worthing.

Jackie Elder from Littlehampton said: "My daughter did her Gold Duke of Edinburgh award and we both went up to St James Palace in March 2016 for her to collect her award. When he walked into the room where we were you could just feel the charisma and his presence. Took time to speak to most of the young people in the room who had achieved their awards."

Prince Philip attends the Presentation Reception for The Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award holders in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in 2017. Photo by JANE BARLOWAFP via Getty Images

Louise Fowler said: "My dad met him at a Royal Garden Party at Holyrood house. Chatted about football according to dad. My dad also said he was razor sharp."

Chris Bryant from Hastings shared an amusing memory of his meeting with the duke.

"During my time in the military I worked at the Royal Windsor Tattoo one year (2007/2008). At about 0830 in the morning I was in the grounds of Windsor Castle mucking about and dancing in tracks that go around the gardens when all of a sudden a car screeched to stop and a handful of guardsman around me braced up to attention and threw up a salute and quickly told me to get out of the road. I turned around and in the driver's seat of a Black Range Rover with the royal crown livery on it was Prince Phillip laughing, he waved me across the road and carried on driving...".

Liz Marchal from Hastings remembers meeting him in the 50s when she lived in London. "The Prince came to open a playing field and celebrated by kicking a football across," she said. "Us kids were very impressed!"

Meanwhile Darryl Telles from Hastings wrote: "I was in the queue of dignitaries to meet him at the launch of the i360 in Brighton in 2016. Well into his 90s he was sharp as a button, cracking jokes and a pleasure to be with. May he RIP."

Kenny Duke from Billingshurst met him in 96/97 when he officially opened the then brand new Weald school library while West Sussex County Times reader Gillian Williams met him when she was about 17 when he came to the firm in Surbiton where she worked.

Gary Barnshaw met Prince Philip in 2012 for the Cadet 150 celebrations in London and Victoria Martin Monedero from Crawley wrote: "Don't have a photo but I met him and the Queen at Thomas Bennett Community College as a student in yr8, when they came to visit the town for an anniversary. Had a three course meal with him and various other dignitaries."

Jade Marie Wood from Worthing was one of a number of people who remembered him opening Durrington High School. She said: "I met the duke when he came to Durrington High School to open it and I got to do a science experiment with him."

While Carly Jane Goodlad, also from Worthing, added: "I met him with the Queen when they visited Durrington High school years ago - 1999 I think. I was the youngest in the school so got to greet them and welcome them with flowers."

Sarah Baker from Worthing had tea with him and Princess Anne at the Windsor Horse Trials after a day of jump judging 2002 while Helen Johnson from Ringmer met him at the South of England show back in the eighties.

Debbie Scott met him while working for British Airways and said: "Prince Philip was seated in First Class where I was working. He was charming, enjoyed his chicken tikka masala with a g&t. He loved to chat."

Natasha Clarke, James Pettigrew and Sylvia Mepham all remember meeting him when collecting their gold Duke of Edinburgh awards.

Natasha described him as a 'lovely gentleman' while James said: "Met him at St James' Palace to collect my Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold level. Although the Duke didn't present the awards he spoke to the youths and asked the best adventures during the awards. My mum bravely said to the Duke I did a walk around the traditional monopoly board in London for charity."

Sylvia added: "I met Prince Philip when I went to Buckingham Palace to receive my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1963. We were assembled on the lawns on a beautiful sunny day. I was in the Girls Life Brigade as it was known in those days. I also was part of a guard of honour for him the Queen and Duke when they visited Brighton & Hove Greyhound Stadium for a review of Youth Organisations."

If you met the Duke of Edinburgh and would like to share your story please email [email protected]