The Lord Lieutenant of Angus and the county’s Provost have paid their tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh, including fond memories of the last visit of The Queen and Prince Philip to the area almost two decades ago.
The Royal couple carried out a day-long whistle-stop tour of Angus in July sunshine, touching down at the Condor home of 45 Commando Royal Marines.
After leaving the base in the striking royal Bentley built for The Queen’s golden jubilee two years’ earlier, the next port of call for her Majesty was the official opening of a new community access and learning centre at the then Angus College, now D&A College, on Keptie Road in Arbroath.
The Duke of Edinburgh carried out an informal factory visit to the premises of John M. Henderson, touring the shop floor of the engineering business.
Following lunch in Forfar and other engagements there, the Royal guests again parted company and Prince Philip received a tour of the Angus Digital Media Centre in Brechin.
At Forfar’s Reid Hall, Her Majesty was presented with a fiddle tune composed by well-known local musician Sandy Ingram – whose manuscripts now grace the walls of several Royal households.
At the request of the then Lord Lieutenant of Angus, Mrs Georgiana Osborne, Sandy wrote Queen Elizabeth the Second’s Welcome to Angus.
Retired Procurator Fiscal Sandy recalled: “We were at the Reid Hall in Forfar and played God Save the Queen as the Royal couple entered the hall.
“We then played the new tune as they were walking round being introduced to various people by the Lord Lieutenant and the then Provost, Bill Middleton.
“The Provost introduced me to Her Majesty and I then handed over the framed music to The Queen.
“At that point I think Prince Philip became aware that we had played the tune as they were going round.”
Sandy, from Glamis, added: “He asked if they could hear it again, but unfortunately one of the Royal aides said that the timetable wouldn’t allow, so we weren’t able to play it for them.”
Sandy, 90, has also written compositions for the Duke of Rothesay and the Duchess of Gloucester.
His most recent Royal piece was An Angus Welcome To The Earl and Countess of Forfar, performed for the first time in the spectacular Canmore Room of the town’s Municipal Buildings in July 2019.
It was created to honour the first Earl of Forfar for 300 years after the ancient title was conferred by The Queen on Prince Edward to mark his 55th birthday.
A decade prior to his meeting with the Queen and Prince Philip, Sandy met Her Majesty when he was presented with the OBE at Holyrood Palace in June 1994.
Rock solid strength
The current Angus Lord Lieutenant, Mrs Pat Sawers said: “We mourn today the loss of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who as Prince Consort, has been at the Queen’s side throughout her reign and provided a source of rock solid strength.
“He acquitted his duties with great dedication and a down-to-earth no nonsense approach which more often than not included a refreshing measure of good humour as well.”
“On the official day-long Royal visit to Angus in July 2004, Prince Philip left The Queen on a couple of occasions to do his own thing, namely to visit industry on the outskirts of Arbroath and later in the day the Angus Digital Media Centre where he joined a group of Angus schoolchildren intent on making a movie of their own,” she said.
“From the outset Prince Philip was keen to set high standards for young people and in establishing The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme almost 60 years ago he gave young people a benchmark, and a high benchmark at that, to aim for.
“As a result they achieved things of which they would never have believed themselves capable and gained attributes that benefitted them into adulthood.
“The presentations in Scotland by The Duke himself over the years gave enormous pleasure and a great feeling of pride to many young people.
“The Duke of Edinburgh was quite simply unique and will be deeply missed by the nation.”
Angus Provost Ronnie Proctor MBE said the announcement had been met with “great sadness” in Angus.
“HRH Prince Philip enjoyed a long and fulfilling life, which he dedicated to the service of the nation for over 70 years, as both the steadfast companion and support to HM Queen Elizabeth and the champion of many social and environmental causes,” he said.
“The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is an enduring legacy; inspiring generations of young people to be confident, capable and active citizens.
“The nation mourns the loss of such a loved and respected member of the Royal Family.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this sad time.”