Remembering Prince Philip's love of West Norfolk

Prince Philip leaving Thoresby College in Queen Street, King’s Lynn

Prince Philip leaving Thoresby College in Queen Street, King’s Lynn, with West Norfolk Council chairman Clifford Burman in 1974. - Credit: Courtesy of Alison Croose

Alison Croose covered the royals extensively during her many years working as the EDP's West Norfolk news editor. She recalls her memories of reporting on Prince Philip...

Alison Croose launches the Kings Lynn festival 2020Byline: Sonya Duncan(C) Archant 2020

Alison Croose was formerly the West Norfolk editor and the royal correspondent at the Eastern Daily Press. - Credit: Archant

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was a familiar figure enjoying the beautiful Sandringham Estate but has also undertaken many official engagements in nearby King’s Lynn and other venues around West Norfolk.

Over the years he attended many receptions and fund-raising events supporting various charities and organisations in which he had a special interest.

The Duke of Edinburgh greets the crowds on arrival at the Guildhall of St. George, King's Lynn.

The Duke of Edinburgh greets the crowds on arrival at the Guildhall of St. George, King's Lynn. Dated October 23 1959. - Credit: Archant Library

On one such occasion in the mid-1970s crowds turned out in Lynn to see the Duke visit restoration projects in Lynn town centre.

The then chairman of West Norfolk Council, Clifford Burman, and Lady Evershed of Lynn Preservation Trust, escorted the Duke on his visit to Thoresby College in Queen Street.

He also unveiled a plaque marking an award to the Preservation Trust for the completion of the restoration of parts of St Margaret’s Priory as residential cottages.

Prince Philip surrounded by King's Lynn Rotarians

Prince Philip surrounded by King's Lynn Rotarians after he had been presented with the Paul Harris Fellowship. Second from right is Lynn Rotary president, Mr Sidney Hands. Date: Feb 1981 - Credit: Archant

The lovely countryside of the extensive Sandringham Estate offered Princes Philip the ideal environment in which he could enjoy his love of the outdoors and pursue his country interests – carriage driving and winter pheasant shoots.

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He also became involved in the management of the Sandringham Estate.

The estate regularly hosted top-flight carriage driving trials which attracted competitors from abroad.

The parkland around Sandringham House provided an ideal setting for the rigorous cross-country section of the trials in which competitors had to tackle water-hazards and tight turns round trees and fences. It was not a sport for the faint-hearted.

Sandringham House.

Sandringham House. - Credit: Archant

Prince Philip, who was regularly seen out on public roads in the estate with his carriage driving outfit during the year, was a regularly competitor facing stiff competition from fellow national and international teams.

But he was also took the role of a steward, and sometimes sat at an appropriate distance with his clipboard recording any penalties awarded to competitors tackling complex hazards.

In more recent years he was happy to sit in his Land Rover and watch others compete in the demanding sport.

Prince Philip at Sandringham Church in 2004.

Prince Philip at Sandringham Church in 2004. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press, Archant

Duke of Edinburgh

TV crews at the Norwich Gates at Sandringham, filming people leaving tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh - Credit: Chris Bishop

Prince Philip who died yesterday aged 99. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Prince Philip who died yesterday aged 99. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher