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Tuesday, January 20, 1959

PRINCE Philip flies off on his 36,000-mile solo tour of India, the Far East and the Pacific Islands.

The Queen does not expect to see him for at least three months. Yesterday she broke her Sandringham holiday to be in London to see him off.

Her Majesty hosted a pleasant tea-time party at Buckingham Palace. The ten-year-old Prince of Wales —sent back to Cheam School last night — and Princess Anne, eight, said goodbye to their father. Princess Margaret, 28, was there too.

As the Prince’s Comet 4 climbs for the first leg to Delhi today, luncheon will be served on board. The Duke will feast on steak and mushrooms, with Brussels sprouts and chips — a traditional English foil before long months of spiced dishes of the East.

The Prince is believed to be carrying an invitation from the Queen to 74-year-old Dr Rajendra Prasad, President of India, to pay a state visit to England this year.

After a whirl of engagements in India, Prince Philip will join the Royal Yacht Britannia at Rangoon. Then it’s on to Singapore, Sarawak, North Borneo, Hong Kong, the Solomon Islands, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and Christmas Island.


THE verdict is in: never had India given such an astonishing welcome to a VIP as when Prince Philip arrived here this morning. Many tens of thousands lined the streets. A further 5,000 men, women and children waited two hours at the airport in fog.

They went mad with excitement as the silver Comet taxied towards the Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who had been waiting 40 minutes with his daughter, Mrs Indira Gandhi.

The crowd brought with them garlands of yellow marigolds. As the Prince walked to the waiting car, they surged forward and piled the garlands around his neck.

To a final garland-giver, a pretty Indian teenager in a mauve sari, he said: ‘No room for more. You keep it and think of me.’


PRINCE Philip visited the Palace of Mirrors in Lahore yesterday, whereupon a young Pakistani girl in traditional Moghul period dress presented him with a rose.

Later, two marvellous thoroughbred polo ponies were presented to him. About 50,000 people cheered as the animals were handed over by President Ayub Khan.

The crowd went wild when two bull camels were set to fighting to the exhilarating music of a drum and pipe band. Thousands broke through to invade the arena.

Scores of police tried to stem the flow, but the men in the crowd only cheered and laughed as they were whacked with small canes.

Afterwards the Prince drove off with the president for dinner before returning to the stadium for a torchlight tattoo.


EVERYONE here poured on to the streets and stared from every window to give Philip a great colonial welcome.

Three months from now, this boom town of the East, built by the British 140 years ago, becomes an independent state within the Commonwealth.

Yesterday Royal Navy warships and Royal Air Force planes went far out to sea to greet the Britannia. In the afternoon the Prince visited the Kranji war cemetery and laid a wreath.

Here, 24,000 soldiers and airmen who died fighting the Japanese during the last war, or while building the Burma-Thailand railways as prisoners of war, are buried or commemorated.


PRINCE Philip was welcomed into Hong Kong today by a riot of delight. As the Royal Yacht Britannia sailed into Junk Bay, foghorns, a thousand Chinese firecrackers and ships’ sirens all sounded.

Jostling in the bay were overcrowded and beflagged junks, the local flat-bottomed ‘sampan’ wooden boats, ferry boats, harbour launches and little houseboats, paddled by Chinese women with babies on their backs. All were determined to greet the Queen’s husband.

Philip himself was standing on the lower foredeck of the Britannia, binoculars in one hand, camera in the other. Chatting at his side was the popular retired Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Alexander Grantham. Earlier, exuberant Chinese were excited to glimpse the prince.

After one hour’s travel, near the Island of the Sleeping Buddha, we encountered the Britannia, enveloped in fog, gloomily heading a cortege of four British minesweepers and one frigate. There was nothing festive about the occasion until our little armada sailed into the bay and that tremendous din of firecrackers was let loose. It was deafening.

At least 10,000 Chinese were waiting to watch Prince Philip drive from the pier head to Government House. Later, watched by people crowded on spars, lifeboats, cabins and junks, he accepted a bouquet of flowers from the daughter of a Hong Kong fisherman.THE


Fifteen thousand delighted Gambians roared approval when they saw Prince Philip sporting a stylish new beard.

The people of Gambia, West Africa, appeared to take some time to recognise the Prince behind his dashing new beard as he stepped from the Royal Yacht Britannia. The government here had portraits of the Duke of Edinburgh, smooth-chinned. So when a bearded young man in white shorts and shirt waved from the quarterdeck, nobody bothered to wave back.

Half an hour later, an immaculate figure in admiral’s uniform came jauntily ashore and there could be no more doubt.

They went wild with delight.

Friday, May 1, 1959 Welcomed home by his family

THE Prince’s airliner made a 130-mile detour after crossing the British coast yesterday. The pilot remained at 25,000 ft for 20 minutes because he was that much ahead of schedule.

At 1.55pm the plane touched down at London Airport. There, the Queen, wearing lilac, was waiting with the Prince of Wales, accompanied by a reception committee of 31, including Cabinet Ministers. A smiling, sun-tanned Prince Philip appeared. Then the royal party walked to the Rolls-Royce for the nine-mile drive to Windsor Castle. His souvenirs include a 6ft string of shell money, a spittoon, native swords and canoes.

Associated Newspapers April 13, 2021