The Duke of Edinburgh: His visits to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

  • A look at the Duke of Edinburgh's visits to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

The Duke of Edinburgh’s first official solo visit to the Calendar region as the Queen’s Consort took place in February 1953, following one of the most devastating natural disasters ever recorded in the United Kingdom.

A storm surge had flooded huge areas of the east coast, flattening sea walls, destroying 24,000 homes and killing more than 300 people.

Prince Philip toured the flooded areas, including Mablethorpe and Sutton-on-Sea, and met many of those whose lives had been torn apart.

The visit struck a chord with the Duke, and he returned to Mablethorpe 50 years later to unveil a plaque to commemorate the disaster. 

The Duke returned to Mablethorpe in 2003 to unveil a plaque. Credit: PA Archive

Five years after the disaster the royal couple visited a printing press manufacturing company in Leeds.

Among the employees to meet the Duke of Edinburgh was 16-year-old Peter Jackson, who was an apprentice.

Prince Phillip meeting Peter Jackson in Leeds.

He had recently been told his job was under threat because it had been a difficult year for engineering.

However, this did not dampen his enthusiasm for the Duke’s visit. Although he had not been nominated to meet the Duke, Prince Philip made a point of speaking to him. The unexpected conversation turned out to play an important part in the young apprentice’s future career. 

"We were all agog, watching them come down this line," Peter said.

"When he turned to the right, that's when he hesitated, and then came to speak to me. I recall speaking to the Duke, conscious of the lights flashing from the cameras all the time.

"The personnel manager came to see me the next day. They had seen the photos in the papers and he said you can forget about moving onto another job.

"As far as he is concerned you have got a job for life here, and with that, I stayed for the next ten years." 

Prince Phillip made a detour to a vault at the Sheffield Cutlers Festival dinner in 1991. Credit: PA

In the decades that followed, the Duke made regular visits to the Calendar region. He also developed a taste for deviating from the plan, much to the frustration of his security team. 

At the Sheffield Cutlers Festival dinner in 1991, Prince Philip, who had an interest in the history of manufacturing in the city, insisted on access to the archive vault.

Gordon Bridge, the former Master Cutler, said: "It was a complete surprise to us and it was a complete surprise to his security people as well, because they were all over the place.

"They didn't like him going into the safe, but they couldn't do anything about it because he said, ‘I want to look inside it.’ So that was it."

Prince Philip opened a police training centre in the region in 2015. Credit: PA

The Duke of Edinburgh’s last official solo engagement in the Calendar region was to open a police training centre in Wakefield in June 2015, a fitting final visit for a man whose life was dedicated to the Queen and his country.