Many Okanagan residents were saddened to hear of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing on Friday.
Kelowna resident Victor Laderoute worked as a private butler for Prince Philip and the Queen during their private four-day stay at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in 2005.
“I remember him as someone that was almost like an ordinary kind of guy,” Laderoute said.
“They came in, and the first thing he said to me, he said let’s stoke that fire up, and let’s get it going.”
Laderoute said he was later preparing a BBQ when the prince knocked on the pantry door.
“And said, ‘Hey, what are you guys making for lunch today’?” he said. “And I remember this prep cook almost fell over with the fact that literally he was probably like two feet away from her.”
Jules Galloway, the owner of Limey, the British Shop, said she was devastated to learn of the duke’s death.
“He’s been a constant in my life, and anybody in my generation, for my whole life,” she said.
Prince Philip was no stranger to controversial comment, but Galloway said she liked his candidness.
“His position allowed him to do that for the longest time. He certainly had his knuckles wrapped a few times I think,” she said.
Laderoute agreed that he was outspoken.
“Certainly there were a few kerfuffles throughout his life, but I think that’s what made him real, and I think that allowed people to relate to him even more so,” he added.
Kelowna-based British expat Angela Bonten said that growing up in Britain, the prince was always a constant.
She called him the grand patriarch of the United Kingdom.
“(I) was just sort of more reflecting on the end of an era,” she said. “(I’m) not surprised. He was 99 years old, and as they say in Britain, he had a good innings.”