Just two months after the heart attack that dramatically landed him in hospital on Christmas eve, Prince Philip is clearly showing he has no intention of slowing down his hectic schedule after he and the Queen stunned theatre-goers in London’s West End by turning up for a performance of a hit comedy in his trademark London taxi.
Philip, 90, and Elizabeth, 85, traveled from Buckingham Palace to the West End in Philip’s dark green London taxi. Although Philip has been known to drive his beloved ‘black cab’ around London himself on secret missions, on this occasion a uniformed royal chauffeur was at the wheel.
Also in the cab were the Queen’s grandson Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn. The ladies sat on the regular bench seat, while the gentlemen took the fold down jump seats that London taxis feature, facing against the direction of travel.
The Queen and Prince Philip, famously thrifty individuals, sat in the public seating area and were said by fellow theatre-goers to have a ‘fantastic time’ and to be ‘laughing lots’ at the performance of, “One Man, Two Guv’nors” at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
A fellow theatre-goer told the London Evening Standard: “The audience was greatly surprised. Everyone had their cameraphones out during the interval taking pictures.”
Philip is known to be a big fan of the anonymity that driving a taxi around London bestows, and he bought his first cab in 1993. It is not known when he acquired the new motor, but it is thought to be a relatively recent acquisition.
When a guest at a garden party once unwisely tried to engage Philip in conversation about the benefits of the tight turning circle of London taxis, the guest commented that and advantage of black cabs was that hey ‘can turn on a sixpence’.
The duke is said to have replied, ‘What’s a sixpence?’