Presenter’s fond memories of ‘livewire Duke with a beautiful smile’

Radio presenter and sports journalist Denise Watson has fond memories of Prince Philip as a “livewire with a beautiful smile”.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 9:08 pm
U105 presenter and sports journalist Denise Watson meeting Prince Philip at Hillsborough Castle in 2015. Photo: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

The u105 breakfast show host holds a Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) scheme Gold award and has presented certificates to local DofE participants at Hillsborough Castle.

Denise met Prince Philip at a presentation ceremony in 2015 and was impressed with his energy and enthusiasm.

“He was just a livewire, with a beautiful smile, beautiful eyes and a beautiful demeanour. He had a great presence about him,” she said.

“I was surprised at how fit looking he was as he must have been well into his 90s. He just loved talking to the young people and really wanted to engage.

“He really cared that children would be doing something that would make them more resilient, that would educate them and give them life-skills.”

Prince Philip founded the DofE award in 1956 and remained heavily involved in the charity, and chairman of the trustees, until his 80th birthday.

Denise achieved her own Gold award while a pupil at Wallace High School in Lisburn and said she “loved every minute” of the outdoor activities and the volunteering opportunities.

“You learned so much,” she said.

“Doing four days living in the mountains taught me so much about teamwork and team-building. It was one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life.

“I am so happy to support the scheme and everything they do 100% because it is so good. My eldest daughter has just done her Bronze and has signed up to do her Silver award and I’m so proud about that.

“To meet the Duke of Edinburgh is a moment I will never forget. It is lovely to have those memories and that photograph.”

Denise added: “I just feel so sorry for the Queen. This period of mourning is going to be really hard for her.”