With the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh last week it reminded me of when I met him. I remember at least two occassions though saw him in a non-speaking capacity at other times. One time was when I had to sing Run Rabbit, Run Rabbit in Maori to the Queen on Commonwealth Day (a long story as mine always are)
But just a few years ago I was taking a rather important elderly foreign visitor on some tours who it turned out was a rather important person in the world of security.
We were walking along Birdcage Walk between Parliament and Buckingham Palace and I was in mid conversation when a black London taxi stopped right next to us and the window went down. The driver was Prince Philip who listened briefly to what I was saying as I ended that section as hastily and with as good grace as I could.
A black London taxi was a preferred method of transport for the Duke when he wanted to be out without Security and with there being thousands of identical black taxis in London, for all intents and purposes it allowed him some independence without any undue risk.
After a brief introduction from my tourist who we can call Michael, so as not to get anyone in trouble, Prince Philip said “Michael, are you the man whose ducking up my traffic lights?”
He didn’t actually use the word ducking but something a little ruder and he may well have mentioned ducks more than once!
As it happened, poor Michael was overseeing some new security system and had indeed been doing the upgrade work in front of the Palace, indeed that is likely the main reason he was here in the first place.
I managed not to say anything stupid or indeed get insulted before I promised I’d make sure my tourist got to Buckingham Palace afterwards. So I think I got his seal of approval.
Prince Philip told me to keep doing a good job before he drove off. And then the tour continued liked it never happened lol. It was one of those things that so often happens to me when I am out and about though no less surreal for being so.