Remember When: Prince Philip's visits to Maidenhead

In a special edition of Remember When, we look back at some of the Duke of Edinburgh’s visits to Maidenhead and the surrounding villages over the decades.

November 1952: The Duke took his first flying lesson in a Chipmunk trainer at White Waltham.

Under the instruction of Flt Lt CR Gordon, the Duke spent most of the 27 minutes in the air handling the controls on the way to Windsor and back.

After landing, Prince Philip drove down Maidenhead High Street on his way to watch England play Wales at Wembley, though few people recognised the Royal car when it was held up by traffic near the town hall.

November 1978: Villagers in Bisham met the Prince in the grounds of Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.

He was there to open the Sports Council’s new extension.

March 1982: His Royal Highness officially opened a new hydrotherapy unit at Holyport Manor School amid cheers from the children.

April 1986: As patron of the Institute of Marketing, the Prince was invited to Moor Hall in Cookham to dig the ceremonial foundation on the site of a new £1.2million catering and information development.

Although The Duke was complimentary about the facility, he did jokingly suggest a white building housing the diploma department be demolished because it was not in keeping with the surroundings.

June, 1993: The curtain rose on a £6.5m extension to the Magnet Leisure Centre with a charity concert attended by The Duke.

Prince Philip unveiled a plaque before joining a packed audience as The Last Night of the Proms came to the newly-opened Pearce Suite.

May 1996: The Queen’s husband received a warm welcome when he officially opened WAMDSAD’s new £300,000 extension.

Members of Windsor and Maidenhead District Sports Association for the Disabled – which was celebrating its 21st year – were out in force to welcome their Royal visitor in Braywick Park.

Unveiling the plaque, the Prince joked: “Congratulations all of you, particularly the fundraisers – I hope you have some friends left.”

December 1996: His Royal Highness officially opened the flagship HQ of one of Maidenhead’s largest employers.

The Prince was at Maidenhead Office Park where the Canadian telecommunications giant Nortel had made its new home.

As a self-proclaimed expert in ‘plaque unveiling’, The Duke gave the business his Royal stamp of approval.

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