How Prince Philip surprised diners at Little Chef on his last known visit to Doncaster

Prince Philip’s last visit to Doncaster was back in 2014 – when he stunned staff and diners at a Little Chef by dropping in for a cuppa.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 1:55 pm

The prince, who has died aged 99, and his entourage, stopped at the site on the A1(M) near Skellow on the way to a private engagement in Cumbria

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Manager Celia Morrell said the restaurant was busy at the time and she did not realise who it was at first - and neither did her young colleague.

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HRH Prince Philip with the Duke of Northumberland and George, Earl Percy, in Alnwick in June 2011. Picture by Jane Coltman

Speaking in 2014, she said: “It was really exciting and also an honour that they’d picked our Little Chef to come and visit.

“There was quite a large group of them and they were in the take-away area. Prince Philip was wandering around and one of the girls went up and asked him if he would like a table.

“She’s only a young girl and she didn’t realise who he was.

“He said, Oh no, I’m just stretching my legs’ and he wandered around a bit more. The security people were buying drinks and chocolates.”

Ms Morrell said the girl who spoke to him did not spot who their VIP guest was until she returned. “I said to her, Do you realise who that was?’ She was amazed when I told her.”

According to reports, he stopped off en route to a private engagement - a carriage-driving event in Cumbria.

Ms Morrell added: “There were lots of customers here at the time and some of them were getting very excited. Some were asking whether he was going to order one of our royal breakfasts.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.