‘Super cool guy’: Aussie’s close bond with Prince Philip
An Australian charity worker has revealed how Prince Philip would gatecrash conversations with a pale ale and sausage roll in hand
Dr Erica Myers-Davis was in Windsor yesterday to farewell the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Melbourne University law student and charity fundraiser got to know him when she started volunteering for one of his favourite charities, the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League when previously based in London.
She would have regular meetings at Buckingham Palace with Prince Philip, who always started with the food and drinks first to make sure people arrived on time.
"He would walk around with his half pint of pale ale and sausage roll and interrupt your conversation", Dr Myers-David said.
"He would mingle and catch up with people, he would work the room, he didn't have a minder.
"I would also find it amazing that he would remember me, I was like dude, you meet thousands of people every week."
Five years ago, she was let in on the plans for Operations Forth Bridge, the duke's secret funeral arrangements.
Dr Myers-Davis was told that she would be part of the service to represent the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League at the service.
COVID-19 restrictions meant that the duke's plans, like so many in the past year at funerals across the world, had to change.
She spent the day at the Long Walk just outside the gates of Windsor Castle instead of marching with the funeral procession along with 50 other members of her charity as the duke had planned.
Prince Philip's passing has been a blow for the University of Melbourne law student.
"All of us were really sad - I really missed him. I cried when I heard he died, he really was one of a kind," she said.
"He was a super cool guy, he was just funny."
The Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League works with local military charities to pick up those veterans who might slip between the cracks.
British soldiers, or anyone who served in the Commonwealth forces but no longer live in their home country, can apply for assistance.
More than 500 veterans are supported by the league with the assistance of the Returned Services Leagues in Australia.
They provided direct support, and the Duke of Edinburgh, a Second World War veteran was a keen supporter.
Prince Philip retired from his role in 2017, but it was one of the last of his 900 charities to give up.
"He was the boss and he was a very active boss," Dr Myers-Davis said.
"The league is 100 years old this year and before Prince Philip, his uncle Lord Mountbatten was in charge.
"He would chair the meetings, he knew what was going on."
Dr Meyers-Davis represented Jamaica at the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League.
She has family there, and is a regular visitor.
"I'm on the council for Jamaica, I've got family there so when I go there I see the league and see what veterans need and if the UK has issues they let me know if they have found some new veterans or new widows," she said.
Her cousin is Jamaican runner Usain Bolt - she insisted that he is her cousin, not the other way around.
"I'm older than him, he's my cousin because I'm older than him," she said.
Prince Philip's funeral was run with military precision.
Minute guns rang out during the eight-minute procession from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to St George's Chapel.
"He was an absolute stickler for time," Dr Myers-Davis said.
Originally published as 'Super cool guy': Aussie's close bond with Prince Philip