A woman who met the Queen and Prince Philip when she was a young girl has spoken about the Duke of Edinburgh’s “thoughtfulness” when he made sure she could meet Her Majesty on a trip to Bucks.

Naomi Cook, from Holmer Green, responded to a letter from Bob and Jane Savidge in the BFP’s April 16 edition, in which they talk about the royal couple’s visit to Marlow in 2002 to unveil a statue of Olympic legend Steve Redgrave in Higginson Park.

According to Mr and Mrs Savidge, the Duke saw two young girls with flowers for the Queen, who was meeting people on the other side of the road, and said: “Are they for the Queen?”

He then lifted the girls up over the barrier and asked his security to take them to Her Majesty, who was presented with the flowers.

Ms Cook said she was one of the girls, then aged five.

She told the BFP: “I can identify myself as one of the girls who was helped over the fence by HRH Prince Philip and the Queen’s unveiling of Sir Steve Redgrave’s statue in Marlow.

“I look back on that day fondly, even 19 years later, and marvel at how such an extraordinary event for me was instigated so matter-of-factly by the Duke and received so calmly by the Queen.

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“I’m also heartened to hear that the Duke’s kindly gesture has been remembered by more than just myself.”

Speaking about the day itself, she remembered the “excitement of waiting to see the Queen”, adding: “We had been in position since the early hours.

“I had been eagerly playing the scene over and over in my head of handing a bunch of flowers to the Queen over the fence as she walked round.

Bucks Free Press: A grainy photo showing two girls giving the Queen some flowers in 2002A grainy photo showing two girls giving the Queen some flowers in 2002

“You can imagine then my disappointment, as a five-year-old, when the Queen and Prince Philip emerged only to realise that the Queen would be walking round the other side of the crowd.

“Another girl next to me was in the same predicament but our mums reassured us that we would ask Prince Philip to take them and that the Queen would still receive the flowers.”

She and the other youngster watched Prince Philip make his way around the crowd “chatting and waving in his easy manner”.

When he got to the pair, their mothers “politely” told him their daughters had some flowers for the Queen and that perhaps he could take them to her.

But, to their surprise, the Duke said: “Well the Queen’s gone that way. You’d best get them over. Come on, mothers, get them over.”


Ms Cook said: “With that, I was promptly lifted over the fence by my mum and the Duke onto the red carpet in front of the watching crowd.

“I was a little stunned, to say the least, but the Duke pointed myself and the other girl in the direction of the Queen and off we went, completely oblivious to the reactions of [their] security.

“I handed the flowers to the Queen and she commented on how lovely they were.

“Completely starstruck, we found our way back to our mums, where the Duke was still chatting, and were helped back over the fence by the Lord Lieutenant.

“The picture of us with the Queen, published in the BFP on May 31, 2002, sits proudly on the mantlepiece.

“The Duke’s thoughtfulness that day is something I will never forget.”