Prince Philip ‘Terrified’ Barack Obama’s Security

Prince Philip once “terrified” Secret Service agents protecting Barack Obama on a state visit to the UK. The late Duke of Edinburgh, never one to shy away from fun and good humour, asked the Obama, wife Michelle and the guards to pile into his Range Rover. It was the only time the Democrat president and First Lady were driven by someone other than security detail while working.

Celebrating Her Late Majesty’s 90th birthday in 2016, Barack and Michelle had carefully drawn up plans to fly by helicopter from the US ambassador’s residence in London to Windsor Castle.

From there, Philip, then 94, and the Queen were going to meet them on the estate. The Duke then planned to drive them all back to Buckingham Palace – one and half hour journey down the M4.

Royal author Robert Hardman told the BBC of the anxiety this caused.

“The Secret Service said, ‘no, we’re the only people who drive the President’ and it went right to the top,” he said.

“It’s the only time in the entire Obama presidency when the couple were driven by someone other than a White House agent, they were driven by Prince Philip with the Queen in the back with Michelle.”

Obama’s secret service is said to have been “terrified” when the then nonagenarian took the wheel.

The then-President said later: “I have to say I have never been driven by a Duke of Edinburgh before, but I can report it was very smooth.”

Writing in her best-selling book ‘Becoming’, Michelle also recalled an intimate encounter with the Queen about driving.

Despite the carefully laid out driving plans for the First Family, the Queen asked the First Lady if she would like to ride with her in her Land Rover.

Mrs Obama wrote: “I froze, trying to remember if anyone had prepped me for this scenario, whether it was more polite to go along with it or to insist that Barack take his proper seat by her side.

“The Queen immediately picked up on my hesitation. And was having none of it.

“‘Did they give you some rule about this?’ she said, dismissing all the fuss with a wave of her hand. ‘That’s rubbish. Sit wherever you want.'”

Philip surrendered his driving licence in 2019 after a horror crash near Sandringham, where his Land Rover Freelander landed on its side after a collision with a Kia.

Images showed the vehicle rolled over on its side on a country lane – but the then-97-year-old miraculously escaped unhurt.

Philip died on April 9, 2021, and was laid to rest temporarily at St George’s Chapel.

After the Queen died on September 9 last year, she and Philip were interred in the King George VI Memorial Chapel at St George’s.

Original Article

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