Prince Philip retires: a fan's response

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:25 pm on 5 May 2017

Angela Thompson was relieved to discover that rumours surrounding a Royal Family death yesterday turned out to be false when it was revealed Prince Philip was retirin.

Thompson is what you could call a royal fanatic. Her and husband Bill, have turned their home in Te Aroha into a 'living museum', which includes 22 cabinets and 8,000 items of royal memorabilia dating from 1837.

Speculation about the health of Prince Philip was rife last night, after the Royal Family called an emergency press conference. Thompson says she quickly jumped online to see what it was all about.

“Our hopeful thought was not that one of them had passed, but that perhaps the queen was going to abdicate and give Charles an opportunity whilst she was alive, to then see him give it to William, and see her favourite grandson as king.

“So we were pleased when it was just a retirement.”

Thompson says Prince Philip, who is 95, will be sadly missed when he retires from royal duties in August.

She says he told the BBC in 1990 that it was ‘better to get out before you reach your sell-by date’.

She says he’ll either audition on Britain’s got talent as a sit down comedian, or he will be writing the jokes for the Christmas crackers.

Thompson says Prince Philip is a very ordinary man but has many fans.

“I think he’s one of these characters, you possibly stand with your mouth open, waiting for him to put his foot in it.”

When he first married the Queen, Thompson says Prince Philip had no idea he would be by her side, for so long.

“She I not only the longest reigning monarch, but she’s the longest reigning monarch with her husband still by her side.

Prince Philip is involved with more than 780 organisations, which Thompson says is amazing.

Thompson says her love for the royal family began at a young age, particularly as her mother was devoted to the Queen.

Her collection of royal memorabilia goes beyond ceramics and ashtrays.

“Way back in 1837 onwards, somebody created that, somebody loved it, it went to a wholesaler, it went to a distributors, somebody purchased it, and now, all these years later, we can put them on show for people to see.”

Thompson says when the time comes that the Queen or Prince Phillip does eventually die, it will be a sad time for her.

“You feel like, although you’ve never met them, that you know them personally.”

As a grandmother of 13, Thompson says she wishes the Queen would pass her Crown to Charles on a condition that he has a brief glory, before passing it on to Prince William.

As for Thompson’s own royal legacy, she hasn’t decided what will happen to it when she can no longer look after it.

It needs to be somewhere where people can do exactly what’s happening now, and that’s come and share the history that we have.”

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