05:00PM, Monday 12 April 2021
Windsor RFC’s Chris Emmett, Helen Crick, and Mike Crawshaw paid the club’s respects to Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip on Saturday, attaching the Club and Postminder ties to the railings outside Windsor Castle.
The Prince was a patron of the rugby club for 69 years and would visit on a number of occasions for league lunches, notably sporting the cufflinks and neckwear of the team.
He would often show great interest in the Minis and Juniors section and was admired for ‘listening to their stories and answering their questions’.
The Prince also came to the formal opening of the clubhouse refurbishment in 2003, back when Peter Blake OBE was the club’s president.
His passing has evoked great sadness for everyone at Home Park, including coach James Noakes, who was interviewed by the BBC at the weekend regarding the Prince’s role at the club.
“I believe we’re the only rugby club in the world that has a British royal family patron,” he said.
“He took on the role from King George VI who started in 1936 and after his passing, His Royal Highness took it on and has been there ever since.
“He used to come down to the rugby club regularly and in the old days, he’d come and present the tie. He’d sometimes stay for dinner or sometimes he’d just hand out the award and go. But when he came down, he thoroughly enjoyed himself.
“At one stage, he came down with the mini kids on a Sunday and took the time to listen to their stories, answer their questions and seemed thoroughly interested.
“He loved our little club.
“Whenever he came to us, he had our cufflinks on, our tie on, and even when we changed the design, he turned up with it on. He was fantastic.
Noakes added: “There was an occasion when our previous chairman wrote him a bit of a witty letter that said ‘we’re having a last league lunch of the season, tickets are running out fast, would you like a couple?’
“He wrote back saying ‘that would be delightful’ and he came to the lunch. It was really special and we’re really proud to have had him as our patron since 1952.”
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