I was backing up my laptop, when I saw my stash of pics from the 12th World Kendo Championship in Glasgow. I was one of the three directors of this event and for the first time in any World Kendo Championship we had the honour of being visited by a current head of state. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh agreed to attend the first day of the championships. From an organisational point of view this was quite scary as we had to marry the challenges of royal protocol and security with making the championship run smoothly.
I had the pleasurable task of hosting the Duke of Edinburgh and introducing him to a receiving line of VIPs. Both he and Her Majesty seemed totally enthralled by the event and stayed for 45 minutes against the scheduled 15, much to the annoyance of their aids who were responsible for keeping their day on schedule.
We were asked lots of relevant questions about kendo techniques and scoring. When it was time for the receiving line, Prince Philip decided that he wanted to keep socialising, so he kept going; talking to the IT team and then the scoreboard operators, before being dragged away for a photocall on the other side of the arena. When we were back in place, he was greeted by Her Majesty telling him “Hurry up Philip, you are late!”