As far as I know, the late Duke of Edinburgh made a single visit to Palma in October 1988. It will be a day which I will always remember. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had embarked on the royal yacht Britannia for a private weekend holiday on Mallorca before they started an official visit to Spain on the Monday. But there was nothing low key about their visit to Mallorca. Not only did they sail into Palma aboard the royal yacht with the royal standard flying from the main mast, awaiting their arrival at the Dique del Oeste was King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia.

It was a beautiful October day, the Britannia looked absolutely fantastic with the band of the Royal Marines playing on the deck as the royal yacht was eased into its berth. Within minutes Queen Elizabeth and the Duke Edinburgh descended down the steps on to the quay. There were almost 5,000 people present of all nationalities. There wasn´t much security and if there was, it was very discreet so everyone was able to see the warm welcome King Juan Carlos gave Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to Palma. They waved to the crowd before heading for the Marivent Palace for lunch.

They spent the weekend visiting scenic spots on the island including Valldemossa and Deya. The next morning they left on an aircraft from the Queen´s Flight from Palma airport bound for Madrid. It will be an occasion I will never forget and I will always remember Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh coming down the steps of the Britannia onto the Dique del Oeste. It will be a sight we will never see again and that is certainly very sad news.


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