The Duke of Edinburgh has been applauded by spectators as he walked 400m to church for a New Year’s Day service in a tribute to Scott of the Antarctic. He had earlier told his butler that he was ‘just going outside, and may be some time’.
‘It was marvellous,’ said Janice Hill (23) who with hundreds of others witnessed the Duke’s entire walk. ‘To see a 90-year-old man walk unaided for 400 metres really captured the essence of Capt Scott’s fateful trek through the dark Antarctic wastes a century ago.’
Royal historian Dr David Starkey pointed out that, unlike Prince Philip, Scott wasn’t encumbered by a heavy and expensive overcoat, and cautioned ordinary 90-year-old men against trying to repeat the walk.
‘The Duke’s achievement’, said Dr Starkey, ‘ranks high in royal achievements, just below the Queen Mother’s unaided and abortive attempt to slice the top off her boiled egg, and the Queen’s breathtaking attempt to once adjust her hat.’