Members remember their encounters with the Duke of Edinburgh, our former president
The sad news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death has sparked many members’ memories of meeting him at various ESU functions over the 59 years he was our president. Two in particular caught our eye. The first is this striking photo of a young James Raven with Prince Philip at Dartmouth House in 1976 shortly after James won the national final of the English-Speaking Union’s Schools Public Speaking Competition, representing the Gilberd School in Colchester. Shortly afterwards, he was sent by the ESU on a visitor exchange to the United States – his first visit abroad and an experience that transformed his life, as you can read here.
We were also rather tickled by Sue Bull’s story who tell us that at a reception one evening, she stepped backwards and accidentally trod on someone’s toe, only realising when she turned that it was none other than Prince Philip himself. Before she could apologise, he said with a smile, ‘Don’t worry, it’s usually me that treads on people’s toes.’
‘He had the most amazing capacity for putting people, especially young people, at their ease and encouraging them,’ says Sue, a sentiment shared by James and all who have been in touch.