The Duke of Edinburgh was in Wiltshire on Thursday to open a new care home in Devizes but there was only one thing everyone wanted to talk to their royal visitor about. The Duke was asked several times how his new great grandchild, Princess Charlotte, is getting on.
Prince Philip shared plenty of information about his fourth great-granddaughter with the oldest resident in the Hayward Care Centre. He told Lillian Brader – at 103, she is nine years older that the Duke – that he hadn’t yet met Charlotte but he had already seen lots of photographs of her. He was perhaps hinting that The Queen had come back from her first encounter with the new fourth in line to the throne armed with dozens of images of the newest member of their family.
The Duke of Edinburgh was there to open officially the centre that is named after Reginald Hayward of the 1st Batallion Wiltshire Regiment. Hayward, who served in both World Wars, won the Victoria Cross and two Military Crosses. That Regiment is now part of The Rifles of which Prince Philip is Colonel in Chief and some of its members were there to greet the royal visitor. And the Colonel-in-Chief’s Bugler from The Rifles took the lead in showing the Prince around the Hayward Care Centre.
The home, which cost £8 million and which has 80 beds, began welcoming residents in January this year. During his time there Prince Philip met many of those who already call it home and also got a chance to see some of them enjoying a game of curling. He popped into the kitchen to see a bakery class going on before doing the honours and unveiling the plaque that marks the official launch of the centre.
The home is run by the charity the Orders of St John Care Trust and its operations manager, Dan Hayle sais: “The excitement around Prince Philip coming has been amazing. We are absolutely delighted he was interested enough to come today.”
The arrival of another famous royal in the last few days wasn’t far from his mind either as he added: “It’s been absolutely wonderful and because Princess Charlotte has been born over the weekend there was already lots of activity and interest”.
At the end of the engagement, Prince Philip headed to Windsor Castle for lunch with The Queen. If his comments are anything to go by, there may well have been another moment of proud cooing from the five times great grandparents over the latest snaps of the latest addition to their family – Princess Charlotte.
Photo credit: By Photo Credit: NASA/Paul E. Alers [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons