Prince Philip: A royal visit to Nicola Valley

By: Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald
Prince Philip, husband to Queen Elizabeth II for more than seven decades, died on April 9 just two months short of his 100th birthday.
Over the course of his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Couple visited Canada more than 20 times together, with twelve of those official visits bringing them to BC.
Prince Philip travelled to Canada even more frequently on his own, visiting the Commonwealth country more than 45 times, more than any other member of the Royal Family.
Prince Philip, and Queen Elizabeth II, made a Merritt connection on their 1959 visit to BC, when they visited the Douglas Lake Ranch, which was owned at the time by renowned sportsman and western rider, Chunky Woodward, of the Woodward’s Department Stores chain family.
The prince was so taken with the sprawling cattle and horse ranch that he returned in 1962.
Later, in 1964, the Canadian Cutting Horse Association was invited to the Royal Windsor Horse Show and a three-month tour of Great Britain. It was during this tour that a Douglas Lake Quarter Horse was presented to the prince, a gift intended to be a polo mount for His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh.