'The day I shared a joke with Prince Philip' - A Hartlepool man's memory of chatting to the Duke of Edinburgh
A Hartlepool man has described the day he met Prince Philip during one of the Duke of Edinburgh’s last public duties.
It was in July 2016 that Ellis Stewart met the Prince at Holyrood Palace as part of a Duke of Edinburgh Awards ceremony.
The pair got talking about Ellis’s dream to scale Everest which had been dashed a year earlier.
"We had some banter,” said Ellis. “Prince Philip asked me if I had reached the summit of Everest. I said no I had not because there had been avalanches.
"He said ‘it is a far better story anyway’. I thought it was so funny.”
Ellis still cherishes it as a ‘special day’ and even though he was asked to return to the same ceremony a year later, he turned the opportunity down.
"That day was so special,” he said. “It was a one-off in my life”
Ellis had a 20-year dream to climb Everest and survived an avalanche in 2014 which claimed the lives of 16 Sherpa guides.
Ellis returned the following year, once again bidding farewell to his wife Tamara and children Lara, Isla, and Aaron.
He narrowly escaped with his life when an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.9, hit Nepal killing thousands.
The dad of three, of Bishop Cuthbert, who runs his own sports merchandise and events company, is also a sought after guest speaker,
He said: “That day when I met the Prince was the occasion of the Duke of Edinburgh gold awards ceremony. They asked people who had achieved things to present awards and I had been doing some public talks.
"First, I gave a 20 minute speech to my group and Prince Philip handed me some certificates to give out. It was a brief interaction and I got to speak to him for a moment.”
But that moment remains a highlight for Ellis.
The Duke of Edinburgh has many links to Hartlepool. He was the patron of the HMS Trincomalee Trust which was a position he took up in 1992. Before that, he was closely involved in the project to restore HMS Warrior in Hartlepool.
Did you get to meet him? Share your memories by emailing [email protected]