Lancing WWII veteran and former Queen’s Bargemaster recalls joking with Prince Philip
A 101-year-old Second World War veteran and former Queen’s Bargemaster has recalled the time he joked with Prince Philip.
Major Edwin ‘Ted’ Hunt MVO, who lives in Lancing, said he was once riding in a carriage with visiting Senegalese dignitaries and telling them, in French, where to spot the Queen waving from a balcony at Buckingham Palace as they passed.
And when he later arrived at St James’s Palace, the Duke of Edinburgh approached him and said: “Oh it seems Bargemaster I have to congratulate you on your French. Your passengers were delighted that they didn’t miss the Queen waving them goodbye.”
Major Hunt, who learnt French at school, replied: “It was important to him to tell me that what I’d done was not only alright, it was jolly good.”
The duke then asked him if had been living in France, to which Major Hunt chuckled: “No… my first time in France was D-Day.”
Major Hunt, who was driven to Lancing Parish Hall for his second Covid vaccination on Friday (April 9), by Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said he first met Prince Philip at the opening of a new barge house at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.
He told the charity and PA news agency he was sad to hear of his death and described him as a ‘tower of strength’ who supported the Queen for decades.
“Without him I don’t think she could have done it,” he said, adding: “No-one could do her job so well as she does it unless things were good at home.”
And he spoke of how the pair looked at one another: “Clearly the way they look at one another, they like each other don’t they? You can’t act that out all the time non-stop.”
Major Hunt said he also felt the Queen would cope with her loss ‘because she’s a very sensible, hard-working person and she will know what to do about it’.
He added: “She will probably have done her homework previously on what are things going to be like when Philip’s gone.”
Major Hunt commanded 15 Rhino ferries on D-Day and after the war became a Royal Waterman and was appointed Queen’s Bargemaster in 1978. He retired from royal service as a Member of the Royal Victorian Order in 1990.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, he, alongside several other former servicemen, has been receiving support from the volunteer cabbies of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans.