'He was a good boss' - Former Sandringham gamekeeper's memories of the Duke

The Duke of Edinburgh's former gamekeeper has been reliving treasured memories of a "very good boss".

Bill Meldrum became Head Gamekeeper on the Duke's beloved Sandringham estate in 1981.

"He was a very good boss - no trouble," said Bill. "I only had a few tellings off from him when I did something wrong.

"Out of the blue, we're driving along one day and sitting talking and he says 'haven't you been to the hospital yet? I says 'no, what do I want to go to hospital for?'

"He says 'to get your bloody ears cleaned out you never listen to a word I tell you!' I forgot to tell him I was deaf in one year."

Bill Meldrum pictured with the Queen at Sandringham. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Bill retired in 2005, four years later than planned. The Duke threw him a big retirement party at Windsor Castle.

He still lives on the Sandringham estate, near to what he calls 'The Big House'.

He has many memories of day's out with the Duke, including one particular trip to the farm.

"He nipped away and then we heard an almighty roar," said Bill. "He went over a cesspool.

"It was about four feet deep. He stood at the far end of it and the ice gave way and he went down. They had to burn all his clothes.

"Nobody would go near him - he stunk. He looked like a man from a horror story because it was all sticking to him."

Bill said the Duke's great skill was being able to engage with people from all walks of life.

"He could have been a good MP. He could talk to everybody - coal miners, taxi drivers.

"He wasn't a snob."