• webchinehamchat

Probus Club of Basingstoke


Probus Club member, Stephen Thair, has one memory of meeting Prince Philip many years ago and in a far-off land.

“I met him on the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Tour of the Commonwealth in 1977, when I was working as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Department of Justice, Papua New Guinea” explained Stephen.

Then, Stephen was running a Junior Scout Troup of expatriate boys with Geoff, another leader. The Queen and Prince Philip were to inspect an assembly of Scouts at a parade ground in Port Moresby.

The Scouts were in position for 11am, when the inspection was due to commence. Eventually, at around midday, the Queen and Prince Philip arrived and began their inspection.

“I was at one end of our Troop and Geoff at the other. Other Scout Groups were either side of us. Prince Philip was two groups away, when the boy standing next to Geoff fainted because of the heat. Geoff carried him to the shade of a tree where he revived. By then Prince Philip had arrived at our Group, and so Geoff missed out, and I was the only representative for him to speak to.”

“Prince Philip asked me what I was doing in the country and when I explained, he asked if I was enjoying it – which I was – and then moved on. He was perfectly pleasant to me. I had been anxious as my father had told a story of a friend who had been introduced to Prince Philip and when he replied to a question as to what he did, received the comment “Oh no, not another b* * * * y solicitor!”.

Stephen always felt marginally guilty that Geoff missed out on a Prince Philip encounter, although in fairness it could just as easily have been the boy next to him who fainted!

Paul Flint