High Peak residents recall meetings with Prince Philip

High Peak residents have been among those paying tribute to Prince Philip after his death was announced last week.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 12:00 pm

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday morning aged 99.

Former Derbyshire County Council chairman Robin Baldry met both The Queen and Prince Philip at a Maundy Thursday service at Derby Cathedral and was placed on a table with the Duke for the reception dinner afterwards.

Robin, who lives in Buxton, said: “He was a hell of a nice guy, someone who made you feel comfortable in his presence, not the husband of the leader of the country, but he was definitely a character that’s for sure.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip at St Anne's Well, Buxton, 1949.

"He said he had been stuck on the royal train in a siding and read up about me and said I’d had ‘quite a life.’ He knew all about my football in my youth and how I also played golf but then I turned to politics and that spoiled it!

"I was sat next to him watching him eat and asked him how he ate this many fancy meals and how did he stay so thin and he answered that he never really ate the food at these dinners, he just pushed it around a bit, had a few mouthfuls and waited for the waitress to clear his plate."

Robin recalled the great relationship the Duke and Queen had.

He said: “He put two fingers in to his waiscoat and pulled out a square face of a watch and told me to watch The Queen’s reaction. He told me it agitates her when he does this but he does it anyway. He also said Her Majesty never leaves a glass of wine so after he got his watch out she had another wine and it was only when she had finished her drink we decided it really was time to leave now.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday, aged 99. (Photo by Adrian Dennis - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

"He was the best consort this country has ever seen and he did us proud. His death is a loss to the nation.”

High Peak architect Trevor Gilman was also presented to the Duke in 2004 and said: “Although his death wasn’t unexpected it is still full of sadness for the royal family and the country.

"When I met him I remember him being smaller than me and very personable, he made you feel at ease when he spoke to you.”

High Peak MP Robert Largan added: “The Duke of Edinburgh has served our nation and The Queen through war and peace for many decades. Through his charitable works, he has touched the lives of so many people. May he rest in peace.”

Former Derbyshire county council chairman Robin Baldry

*We have opened an online book of condolence in association with our sister title, nationalworld.com. which we will collect and print in this paper next Thursday. We would love to hear your thoughts about the man who stood beside the Queen throughout her reign or your memories if you were lucky enough to meet him.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. – Louise Cooper, editor.

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh with Mayor Cllr G. A. Williams during the visit to Buxton in 1949.