Norfolk pageantmaster hails 'amazing' Prince Philip

Bruno Peek at the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations

Bruno Peek, standing alongside the Queen at the lighting of her 90th birthday beacon, with Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall watching on. - Credit: Courtesy of Bruno Peek

A Norfolk-based pageantmaster has hailed HRH Prince Philip's "kindness, humour and humility" following his death at the age of 99.

Bruno Peek paid tribute to the "amazing" Duke of Edinburgh and reflected on his lifetime of service to the Queen and the commonwealth.

Gorleston-based Mr Peek's long association with the Royal Family stretches back three decades and has included the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations in 2016, as well as gold and diamond jubilee events in 2002 and 2012.

Pageantmaster Bruno Peek.

Pageantmaster Bruno Peek. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Mr Peek said: "He had a great sense of humour and listened to what you wanted to say and was full of encouragement for whatever you were doing.

"He will be a great loss, not just to the Queen and his family, but the nation and the commonwealth too.

"It's very sad. I don't mind admitting I stood while they played the national anthem and shed quite a few tears."

Mr Peek, who was awarded an OBE in 2000 and appointed a member of the Royal Victorian Order two years later, hailed Prince Philip as a "real man of the people."

He said: "My last conversation with His Royal Highness was on the Queen's 95th birthday at Windsor Castle and he had a wry smile on his face.

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"He was very kind to my wife just before we got married when they met outside Westminster Abbey on Commonwealth Day several years ago.

Prince Philip. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Prince Philip. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

"As a commoner, I was so amazed with the warmth and affection he had for people who just wanted to undertake things for Her Majesty the Queen.

"We had several amusing conversations at various events and he will be a great loss. I don't mind admitting I still have tears in my eyes.

"He was a real man of the people who could talk to anybody at any level. There was no snobbery or class distinction. He was just a really nice guy.

"I will always remember the kindness he showed towards me on so many occasions."

Mr Peek will now plant a tree in his garden in memory of Prince Philip, and has urged others to follow suit.

He said: "He was also a naval hero in his own right.

"He was his own character with elements like the Duke of Edinburgh's Award which thousands and thousands of young people will always be grateful of.

"He was just so pleasant and kind and caring and I offer my sincere condolences to the Queen and his family."

A hospital stay prevented Prince Philip from taking part in the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations in 2012, and Mr Peek said it was a "great sadness" he didn't make her platinum celebrations in 2022.

He said: "He was a great support for the Queen. It must have been so difficult then for a man to have to walk behind a woman and take second stage, but he did it with great dignity because the Queen is our monarch and he was her consort.

"He did it with such grace and grandeur and humility and personality, and I think that is one of the things he will be remembered for.

"The Queen now has to carry on without him and keep smiling and that is not easy.

"He lived a good age and was a great credit to himself and his family."