Home > Century 21 World's Fair > News from the Fair: June 1 and Prince Philip's Visit

Jack Gordon





Prince Philip Gets Welcome

SEATTLE, JUNE 1 — A deeply tanned, hearty Prince Philip flew his private plane into Seattle today for a stirring welcome at the Seattle World's Fair.

 The smiling husband of Queen Elizabeth II stole the hearts of the crowd as "a real prince charming," and had a laughing good time touring the Fairgrounds.

He best summed up his impressions of the Fair and Seattle--which today was warmed by brilliant sunlight--during his lunch in the "Eye of the Needle" restaurant near the top of the 600-foot Space Needle, symbol of the Fair, when he said:


Gov. Albert D, Rosellini used three words to best sum up the crowd's impression of the Prince by calling him "a regular guy."

A crowd of more than 20,000 persons already was on the Fairgrounds when the Prince, his official party, city, state and Fair hosts arrived at the British Pavilion by motorcade.

Officially greeting Prince Philip on his entrance to the Fair were World's Fair President Joseph E. Gandy and Ewen C. Dingwall, vice president and general manager. At the Great Britain Pavilion, Cecil Cooke, commissioner-general of the exhibit, and his deputy, George Farndell, welcomed their royal guest.

Almost from the time the Prince eased his four-engined transport plane, the "Heron" into a landing at Boeing Field here, the Duke of Edinburgh was a genial, smiling guest who drew cheers virtually on a sustaining basis.

His first view inside the British Exhibit was that of a huge photo of his wife, Queen Elizabeth II. He smiled and never stopped.

Making jokes frequently, and stamping his food as he laughed, he moved through the United Kingdom's huge pavilion, talking with the clerks, asking if items he saw were for sale.

A cheering, steadily growing crowd followed the Prince and his party to the Fairgrounds terminal of the Monorail featuring two high-speed trains linking the Fair with downtown Seattle,

The Prince took the round-trip in the elapsed time of 130 seconds, riding next to the motorman.

He told Sixten Holmquist, president of the Alweg Rapid Transit System, and Dingwall, that he had been on the Alweg Monorail in Turin, Italy. He said "I am most impressed with the improvement, quietness and smoothness of this Monorail train. It could be the answer to mass transit problems in large cities."

Debarking from the train, the Prince led the large crowd toward the towering, 600-foot Space Needle, where he was to be Gandy's guest at luncheon.

As the high speed elevator began its swift climb, the Prince said; "I expected someone to say, 'Fasten your seat belts.' "

In the "Eye of the Needle" restaurant, which revolves 360 degrees every hour, the Prince looked out over Seattle, the Fairgrounds and beautiful mountains, lakes and Puget Sound. He commented:


Following lunch, he toured the United States Science Exhibit, and exhibits of the European Economic Community (Common Market), Canada and India.

The Prince, after leaving the grounds, was scheduled for a yacht cruise on Lake Washington, through the Union Canal [sic] and locks into Puget Sound. This evening he will be greeted at a reception and following that speaks to a meeting of the English-Speaking Union.

-MO 6-1-62


Princess Margaret?

During his visit on June 1, 1962, Prince Philip watches host Governor Albert D. Rosellini shake hands with a Princess Margaret lookalike.
Margaret, the Prince's sister-in-law, was not a visitor to the Worlds Fair.


The English-Speaking Union Dinner

The English-Speaking Union's Seattle branch held an event that evening at The Olympic Hotel.