It Seems Like Yesterday

Prince Philip West Indies @Benson 1966 lg

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.  To me, he was the best-dressed man in the world, with the possible exception of the flamboyantly attired former King Edward VIII, HRH the Prince Edward, Duke of Windsor.

I’ve always said that men’s magazines should emulate Prince Philip in their “how a man should dress for success” issues. Truly, men need look no further for guidance on how to look dapper. His clothes were from Savile Row. He instinctively knew what to wear to be the best-dressed person in the room without drawing attention to himself. You would never see him with a baseball cap worn backwards on his head or jacket and trousers looking as if they had been shrunk in the washing machine.

Traveling with the Prince on several royal tours (including this one in 1966, the Caribbean tour of the British Commonwealth countries) it is hard to even imagine their grueling tour schedule. It  included  appearances by the Royals in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago , Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Montserrat, Antigua, Nevis, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. The list in itself is staggering. And yet, the Queen and her Prince were impeccably turned out on every occasion. 

It was always discussed among the accompanying press how much the Prince was an asset to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II. His name would be mentioned in a very respectful way—how he helped the Queen through long hours of standing and the endless duty of shaking hands with dignitaries from the myriad of countries they visited.

On this particular trip, Prince Philip played polo with Prince Charles, rode the rapids with Prince Charles and Princess Anne, rode in parades in the Queen’s honor, and was always right behind the Queen to support her in every way. 

The photograph here, taken on the tour in 1966, was one of the only quiet photographs (and one I particularly like). Prince Philip stepped away from his entourage and stood quietly enjoying the serene beauty of his surroundings. A rare quiet moment before the next whirlwind.