Search

Duke visits nature reserve

PUBLISHED: 14:38 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:18 07 July 2010

It may have been one of the longest times he has been away from the spotlight, but at the weekend the Duke of Edinburgh was back under public gaze when he made his first appearance since leaving hospital.

It may have been one of the longest times he has been away from the spotlight, but at the weekend the Duke of Edinburgh was back under public gaze when he made his first appearance since leaving hospital.

Prince Philip chose to mark his return to duties by visiting Norfolk's Pensthorpe Nature Reserve as patron of the trust.

And as the 86-year-old stepped out of the car and into the pouring rain on Sunday afternoon he was warmly greeted by chairman of the Pensthorpe Conservation Trust David Bellamy, with whom he had spent the day at Sandringham.

The Duke of Edinburgh was at Pensthorpe to celebrate the reserve's 20th anniversary, having opened it originally on July 11 1988.

He said: “What a great relief. You hope that something you're opening is a great success. But it's like laying foundations. You don't know whether it's going to be a success.

“In order to make this a success you need to have an aptitude for it. While gardeners have green fingers I like to think these people have feathered thumbs.”

A tour around the park with trustee Tim Nevard was cut short because of the weather, but Prince Philip still spent time looking at the birds being fed and admiring aviaries.

Inside away from the rain he greeted members of staff, unveiled a plaque marking the occasion and finished his visit by cutting a large novelty cake.

The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to hospital with a chest infection on Thursday April 3 on the recommendation of the Queen's personal doctor.

He left on Sunday April 6, and has since spent the week recovering at Windsor Castle.

Several of his engagements were cancelled as a result of his illness, including a thanksgiving service for Everest mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, a dinner for Macmillan Cancer Support in Windsor, and a visit to Dartmouth Naval base.

His last official public role was during President Nicolas Sarkozy's state visit to Britain.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Fakenham and Wells Times

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists