22 % of the British people seem to have seen or met the late Duke of Edinburgh in person. I am certain also many foreigners following the royals can say the same. Not that I have special memories, but I have seen him more often than his wife Queen Elizabeth II, that’s for sure. I count six sightings in total, some rather a glimpse, others more closely. It is actually more often than I expected it to be.
30 March 2004 – The Duke attended the funeral of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in Delft. I was standing on a press stand on the side of the market square and had a good view. Although all guests passed on quite a distance this was the first time I saw him in real life. I probably have a picture somewhere.
11 December 2004 – The Duke also attended the funeral of Queen Juliana’s husband Prince Bernhard. From the start of the World Wide Fund for Nature in 1961 both the Duke and Prince Bernhard had been involved in the organization. While Prince Bernhard was the first president until 1976, the Duke held that position 1981-1996. As I was inside the church myself I must have seen him, but I have no photos.
7 July 2006 (see photo) – My first sighting of the Queen, who together with the Duke, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall opened the Queen Mother’s Memorial Garden in Edinburgh. I came straigth from the airport for two weeks holidays, and just managed to get there in time, with my luggage. Luckily I managed to come pretty close.
19 July 2006 – Like me the royals had moved to London again. Joe Little from Majesty told me about the special 80th birthday prom concert in the Royal Albert Hall and last minute I decided to queue and get one of the 5 pound sterling spots in the arena. Both the Queen and the Duke attended and of course all sang Happy Birthday.
28 April 2011 – Together with two friends I was outside the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park Hotel, where the pre-wedding dinner for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was being held. It was attended by both the Queen and the Duke. No pictures by me, as it was already getting dark, but I did see them.
29 April 2011 – The wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge must have been the last time I have seen the Duke live. It can’t have been more than a glimpse behind the windows of the car.