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Philip in jovial mood as he visits facility for retired police officers

By Emily Moulton

Published 08/05/2009

While it was Her Royal Highness who was the guest of honour, the Duke of Edinburgh stole the show in Holywood yesterday.

Prince Philip was in jovial form during the Royal couple’s visit to the Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust (PRRT), chatting with dozens of guests and even sharing a joke with a retired officer who was receiving physiotherapy treatment at the centre.

The Duke, who accidentally slipped up the stairs upon his arrival at the facility, spent around 15 minutes chatting with Ted, a 79-year-old retired police officer who has endured gruelling needle therapy in his back and wrist several times a week.

“All that pushing and pulling, bloody agony,” the Duke said, gesticulating with his arms.

Yesterday’s stopover at the 10-year-old facility — which helps retired or injured police officers make the transition back to civilian life — was the first engagement of day two of the Royal couple’s three-day visit to Northern Ireland. While the Duke was meeting the staff at the physiotherapy centre, the Queen — who was dressed in a light grey check coat with a black floral trim, matching summer hat, black gloves, handbag and shoes — received a tour of the training suite where she met staff and clients involved in a business start-up course.

Following a brief conversation with the marketing manager of the course, Her Majesty made her way around the small room, smiling graciously, ensuring she made eye contact with those she met and asked: “Are you all looking to do something?”

The Queen then spoke briefly to several people and asked them about what businesses they were planning to start up.

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