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Pilot thrilled to meet Queen again

Published 04/07/2015

The Queen has taken part in a number of activities in Scotland in the past week, including hosting a garden party
The Queen has taken part in a number of activities in Scotland in the past week, including hosting a garden party

A Second World War pilot said he was "thrilled" to meet the Queen - more than 70 years after being told off by the then princess.

Allan Scott, a veteran of the Battle for Malta, attended Buckingham Palace in 1943 to be decorated by the King after shooting down five enemy aircraft.

At a royal reception in Edinburgh today, the retired squadron leader revealed that he encountered 16-year-old Elizabeth when he sneaked off for a cigarette.

The young princess "politely admonished" him for not being where he should, the 94-year-old from Shrewsbury said.

The former Spitfire pilot and holder of a Distinguished Flying Medal said he mentioned the chance meeting to the Queen when he was introduced to her at the Edinburgh headquarters of Royal Auxiliary Air Force's (RauxAF) 603 Squadron today.

The grandfather of three said: "It came up when we were talking and she smiled.

"I've been looking forward to the visit, I enjoyed it very much. After all, I haven't seen the Queen for around 70 years, so it was quite a thrill to see her again.

"It's been a wonderful day and I am so pleased to have met both their Royal Highnesses. The Duke of Edinburgh and I have something in common you see - we are the same age."

Mr Scott said the Battle for Malta in 1942 was a "hectic time", with fighting concentrated on an island roughly the size of the Isle of Wight, and he and his fellow airmen were scrambled up to four times a day.

It was during peacetime that the veteran had his closest shave, however.

In 1953 the one-time test pilot was flying a Tiger Moth biplane in an aerobatics display in Edinburgh when a technical fault saw it plunge 500ft to the ground.

Mr Scott was ejected and landed head first, leaving him seriously injured and requiring extensive plastic surgery to rebuild his face. He wrote about the crash and his long flying career in a memoir, Born To Survive, published in 2013.

Today's royal visit brought to an end a week of public engagements for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Scotland.

The Duke presented Afghanistan service medals to two reservists and the Queen was presented with a posy by seven-year-old Charlotte Murphy from Rosyth.

Earlier this week the couple hosted a garden party for about 8,000 people and yesterday they attended the official opening of a university research centre and a hospital complex in Glasgow.

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