Queen bows head as funeral service begins

Alan Titchmarsh shares ‘cherished’ letter from Prince Philip: ‘He did everything with an eye to detail’

‘Did he ever do anything half heartedly? He did everything with an eye to detail and he made sure it was right’

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Saturday 17 April 2021 16:02
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Prince Philip sent a letter to TV presenter and gardener Alan Titchmarsh, to tell him about the work he had conducted in the parks of royal residences.

Titchmarsh appeared in the BBC’s coverage of Prince Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday 17 April.

He explained that the Duke of Edinburgh took a keen interest in gardening and remembered being “kept on my toes when I was with him”.

The late royal had two different ways of looking at a person, according to Titchmarsh, either with “a twinkly eye or beady eye”.

“Did he ever do anything half heartedly? He did everything with an eye to detail and he made sure it was right,” he said.

He revealed that he received the letter from Philip around a fortnight after he sent his book on royal gardeners, titled Royal Gardeners: The History of Britain’s Royal Gardens, to the Queen.

Prince Philip told Titchmarsh that he enjoyed the book and then proceeded to list everything he had done in the home park, including the avenues he planted.

“I thought it might interest you to know active gardening still goes on,” he apparently wrote.

“I cherish the document,” Titchmarsh said.

Philip’s attention to detail transpired even after his death, as it emerged that he had planned his own funeral over almost 18 years.

This included the music to be performed at the service, including two pieces Philip requested that composer Benjamin Britten write for him.

Follow the latest updates from the funeral here.

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