The duke brought a big smile to the sad-faced little girl
■ Following on from the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing on Friday, many may no doubt be quoting Prince Philip’s so-called gaffes but I was lucky enough to see another side of him.
In the Queen’s Golden Jubilee tour of 2002, the royal couple visited Bromley in south-east London. Queen Elizabeth was collecting flowers from well-wishers on one side of the road, while Philip was on the other side, greeting all and sundry as he does in his own inimical way.
But then Philip stopped, having noticed a sad-faced little girl with a solitary daffodil.
Given the state of the flower, where she’d gotten it from was anyone’s guess but it was her flower for the Queen. Philip raised his hand and walked over to the little girl.
I have no idea what he said to her but she broke into a huge grin. The girl was lifted over the barrier and taken to hand her daffodil to the Queen, which Her
Majesty graciously accepted, also with a big smile for the little girl. When the girl returned, Philip said something to her parents, then waved goodbye to the family, resuming his duties of greeting everyone else.
That instance tells me more about Prince Philip than all his ‘gaffes’. He could quite easily have ignored the little girl but she now has a memory that she will treasure for life.
Michael, via email
■ ‘Bury the Great Duke with an empire’s lamentation...’
The words will have to be changed a bit but Tennyson’s poem, Ode On The Death Of The Duke of Wellington, will no doubt be quoted in coming days.
The Duke of Edinburgh could be controversial but, like the Queen, he has been a fixture of many people’s lives from cradle to grave.
Royalty today no longer attracts universal deference. However, Prince Philip was clearly someone who lived his life according to deep underlying principles of duty and patriotism.
Any kind of public grieving is difficult at the moment but I have no doubt that the great majority of the nation will want – in one way or another – to pay respect to The Great Duke. We will surely not see his like again.
■ This wonderful hero of a man has taught us one thing above all else – think of others before you think of yourself. That virtue is sadly very lacking in 21st-century Britain.
Fantastic TV coverage of the life of Prince Philip. I hope the public will
understand him more now as an unsung hero. It’s not enough to get your history from TV’s The Crown.
Those people moving in and out of the royal family, who know so little of the reality of the long life of our monarch and her consort, would do well to watch, listen and learn. It’s the beginning of the end of an era.
n When will those Union and St George’s flag flag-wavers such as Nigel Farage realise that the Duke of Edinburgh was a refugee?
During his courting days with the Queen [they first met properly in 1939 when she was a princess], many in the English media and English peerage were dead against having a Germanblooded prince marry her.
Andrew Nutt, Bargoed
n The Queen is an incredible woman and Philip was an incredible man. We have been so lucky to have them both during our lifetime. Their nature and
character gave the UK a mother and father that we as British can be very proud of.
Regal and self-respecting while being deeply benevolent and kind. Imperfect, yet humble, loyal and hard-working for the people – beautiful and the best human characteristics. A nation gets the leaders it deserves and I’m proud to have lived in their time.
Deborah M, London
n His Royal Highness Prince Philip was a role model to us all. For more than 70 years he put duty before anything else. Sadly, we now live in a selfish, self-centred society. If more of us could emulate Philip’s shining example, the world would be a far better place. n Never before have the words, ‘Long may she reign over us’ been more appropriate.
Martin Levin, via email