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ROYAL FUNERAL: Maidstone man's tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

Friday 16th April 2021

A MAIDSTONE man has paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh ahead of his funeral tomorrow at Windsor Castle.
Harprit Singh Dogra (64), a recipient of the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award, met Prince Philip on several occasions, latterly when his own children completed the scheme.
Writing in the latest edition of Downs Mail, Mr Singh Dogra said: "As a young man, my claim to fame was going to Buckingham Palace to collect my award Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) award from Prince Philip. I was the only one to have completed the scheme in our group.
"I was in awe of the Duke when I saw him and froze in my place. The Duke was like a magnet and I often went to places where I could see him again. 
"Years later, when my four children completed their DoE, I went with them as the guardian to see the Duke. In the large room, the Duke looked around, he approached me and said: "I believe you collected your award from me."

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"He put me at ease and had a short one-to-one but earlier he had actually scowled me for not wearing my medals! 
"The next occasion was with the next child at the Palace where again the Duke approached me and said: "How many times are you going to come here?"
"Four times, sir," I replied and the room bust out into laughter. He had this special knack of doing the unusual and still be regal."
Infrastructure project manager Mr Singh Dogra, a married father of four from Penenden Heath, added: "The Duke reinforced in me the value of helping others and providing a service to our community, which I aim to do."
Mr Singh Dogra is standing for the Conservatives in East ward at the May 6 borough council elections.