Britain's Prince Philip and his unofficial visit to Donegal

Britain's Duke of Edinburgh visited Buncrana in the early 1950s

Death announced of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Britain's Prince Philip in his naval days was believed to have visited Buncrana in the early 1950s

Almost 60 years before his son visited Donegal in 2016, Britain's Duke of Edinburgh was believed to have made an unofficial trip to Buncrana in the early 1950s.

It was claimed that Britain's Prince Philip, who died yesterday aged 99, once travelled across the border for a meal in the Inishowen town, while attending a naval course in Derry.

A Lieutenant-Commander, Prince Philip commanded HMS Magpie from 1950 until 1952. It is believed that during that time he attended a training course at HMS Sea Eagle, the name given to the Royal Navy base in Derry.

Former business owner and sailor, Ian Piggott said it was an open secret that the Duke of Edinburgh made the journey into Donegal. Writing in 2011, Mr Piggott said the senior royal enjoyed a meal with other officers in the Green Bay Restaurant in Buncrana.

“I was at sea at the time and, when I came home on leave, my mother was full of this story. She was so impressed she had to get down and have afternoon tea in the same place. My mother was a big royal fan,” Mr Piggott said.

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