Queen had 'affinity' with Devon after meeting Prince Philip in Dartmouth

The Queen at Her Majesty's Naval Base in 2003.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Devon has said the Queen always had an "affinity" with the county, thanks to the "warmth of welcome" she received on her visits.

Lord-Lieutenant David Fursdon met Her Majesty a number of times as part of his role, which he was appointed to in 2015.

The first visit she made was in 1952 when she came to the Royal Agricultural Show at Stover near Newton Abbot.

Her other visits during her 70-year-reign included a number of appearances in Exeter and Plymouth, as well as tours of Barnstaple and Torbay.

“She felt affinity resulting from the warmth of the welcome that she received here", Mr Fursdon said.

The Queen visited North Prospect primary school in Plymouth in 1999 Credit: BPM Media

"Whether that was in urban parts of the county or rural parts of the county, of course she was equally happy in either of those settings,” he added.

But Dartmouth’s Royal Naval College is somewhere that he says was of particular significance to the Queen.

It was there in 1939 that she properly met her future husband Prince Philip for the first time. The couple then returned to the town on a number of occasions.

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip playing croquet when they first met. Credit: Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth

“Devon has always been an important home for units of the armed forces, so she felt an affinity with that", the Lord-Lieutenant said.

Mr Fursdon now becomes the King’s representative, and has fond memories of when the former Duke of Cornwall made his annual visits to the county.

He said: “We had great fun with him. We normally had two or three visits in a day.

“He was incredibly professional. He loved the public and if they were [visits] where the public were involved, he would spend as much time talking to the public as he would on the place that we were visiting.

“He was just easy to work with and fun actually. He always had a twinkle.”

Credit: Ollie Heptinstall, Local Democracy Reporter


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