It was nearly 16 years ago when a preschool-aged Hayley Scott was collecting flowers for the Queen and Prince Philip outside of Saskatoon’s airport.
It’s a memory that still sticks out for her and her mother.
“So we went and I remember being so excited. I’m pretty sure I didn’t fully understand what was going on, but I was so excited,” Hayley said on a Zoom call from Candle Lake, Sask.
Grief and reminiscing is taking place across the Commonwealth after the Royal Family announced the prince’s death at Windsor Castle on April 9.
Mike Owens was just nine when he first met the Queen and her husband at the Saskatchewan legislature grounds.
He went on to be in contact with them about seven more times thanks to ties with the Governor General’s office in Ottawa.
“So to see them in places that I’d never thought I would ever get to be was really distinct and a real honour to see people you thought you would only ever see on TV. And then to see how human they really were,” Owens said.
He noted the duke made a joke about Owens’ T-shirt and it gave him an insight into Prince Philip’s sense of humour and relatability.
Despite being beloved by many, the prince managed to find himself in hot water every now and again.
There were several occasions when he was caught making off-colour remarks about people of ethnic backgrounds.
Prince Philip dies as the longest-serving spouse of a monarch in British history, marking a more than six-decade long marriage with the Queen.
The 99-year-old was instrumental in several charitable causes around the world.
It includes the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which is estimated to have helped 500,000 young Canadians since 1963.
“He really fulfilled his role for all of those decades. I think that most people across the Commonwealth will certainly miss him and feel very sad about his passing,” said Saskatchewan’s former Lieutenant Governor Gordon Barnhart.
The prince was part of the Greek and Danish royal families but was forced to leave Greece after the family was banished. His lineage can be traced back to Queen Victoria — he’s even a distant cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, his wife.