Memories of Prince Philip’s ‘dry sense of humour’ on Essex visit

It’s no surprise that tributes have poured in from around the world for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, after his sad passing this morning (Friday, March 9).

Following decades of Royal service, the 99-year-old touched lives across the world, young and old.

In 2014, Prince Philip visited Chelmford, Essex alongside Her Majesty The Queen, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chelmsford diocese, which covers 463 parishes in Essex and East London.

Thousands lined the street to get a glimpse of the Royals in their home city.

On that week, the Essex Chronicle published the following report: “Our city’s streets were awash with red, white and blue on Tuesday morning as thousands gathered to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty the Queen.

“Wearing Union Jack hats and T-shirts, crowds squeezed into the cathedral grounds and nearby streets to welcome Queen Elizabeth II on her first visit to Chelmsford since she opened Anglia Ruskin University’s new campus in 1995.

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“Since then it has acquired city status, in 2012, in celebration of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.

“The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, accepted an invitation to attend a service marking the centenary of Chelmsford diocese, which covers 463 parishes in Essex and East London.

“The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, who guided the Queen through the cathedral’s grounds prior to the service, told the Chronicle: ‘The crowds were amazing and we have all had a wonderful day, and it’s the icing on the cake to a number of celebrations that we have planned over our centenary festival.

“‘It was a joy to welcome Her Majesty to the cathedral – she is a person of good faith and that’s why she wanted to come.”

Remembering the day, Nicholas Henshall, Dean of Chelmsford, said: “In May 2014, the Queen and Prince Philip visited Chelmsford Cathedral to celebrate our centenary year.

“It was a wonderful and memorable occasion, with many rich memories.

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“But what I remember most today is Prince Philip’s wonderfully dry sense of humour as we waited together in a small anteroom after the service in the Cathedral before meeting guests.

“That day I saw above all his rounded humanity – a gift worth celebrating today.”

Today, Chelmsford Cathedral, along with a flurry of public buildings throughout Chelmsford, flies its flag at half mast in tribute to Prince Philip’s long life.

The Rt Rev Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Chelmsford has also expressed her great sadness at the news.

She said: “I am very sorry to learn about the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

“We pray for Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Family, the Commonwealth and the Nation and we give thanks for The Duke of Edinburgh’s extraordinary life of duty and dedication.”

If you would like to pay tribute to Prince Philip, you can do so here.

Essex Live