When the Duke of Edinburgh met prize-winning Ipswich rabbit

Michael Bloomfield

Michael Bloomfield with his picture of Prince Philip and the prize-winning rabbit. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

A former participant in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme has remembered the day Prince Philip came to visit Ipswich in 1963 - and came face to face with his prize-winning rabbit!

Michael Bloomfield was a teenager at the then Westbourne secondary modern school where he enrolled in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award - completing his Bronze Award.

Prince Philip with an Ipswich rabbit

Michael Bloomfield shows off his rabbit to Prince Philip - together with his Duke of Edinburgh Award log book. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

He was one of a number of award-winners chosen to meet Prince Philip during a visit he made to Thurleston school.

Mr Bloomfield, who was 14 or 15 at the time, was a keen rabbit breeder - and took along his prize winning pet to meet the Duke.

He remembers: "We had to show what hobbies we were interested in and mine was breeding rabbits. I had a prize-winning rabbit and I took it along to show the Duke with its certificates on its cage."

Mr Bloomfield said the Duke took an interest in all the hobbies on display: "We were all nervous about meeting him beforehand, but he was very good at putting us to ease."

But despite his royal encounter, rabbit breeding did not turn out to be a hobby for life: "It was something I did as a young teenager, but other things came along in the next few years - but it was good to meet the Duke," he said.

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