'Cheer up, chicken' - Rare glimpse into Queen and Duke's relationship

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands where in November 1947 the

The Queen famously described Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, as her "strength and stay". - Credit: PA

A rare glimpse into the late Prince Philip’s ‘strength and stay’ relationship with the Queen has been remembered by a former Norfolk GP.

Dr Susan Palmer, 99, worked as a GP in Dereham for 28 years.

She recalled in around 1960, being called out to a school for blind and deaf children near Great Yarmouth, after a pupil needed medical attention. 

Dr Palmer said: “I'd parked near the school, but there was a traffic jam, so I couldn’t get back onto the road - and there, just in front of me, was the royal car, halted. 

HRH The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Anne,  Prince Charles and a baby Prince Andrew

HRH The Queen, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Prince Charles and a baby Prince Andrew - Credit: Archant

“There was cheering and waving from the schoolchildren. Then they started roaring with laughter. 

“I got out to ask why they’d laughed. The deaf children could lip-read, so they had interpreted what the royal pair were saying.

“The Queen said: ‘I feel so tired, I want to get home.’

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“The Prince’s reply was what had amused the children: ‘Cheer up, chicken. We’re nearly there.’

Looking back on the moment, Dr Palmer said: “It shows you their humanity, as they were going along. She gets as tired as everyone else does, of course, but has to keep going on with her duties.”

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