Former government official reflects on Prince Philip’s visits to Sask.

Michael Jackson remembers Prince Philip as a man who was outgoing and had a great sense of humour.

Jackson served as the Saskatchewan government’s chief of protocol from 1980 to 2005. His duties included organizing and planning visits when members of the royal family came to the province.

When speaking to Jackson on Friday following the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, he admitted there was a bit of a shock and sadness when he learned of the Prince’s death. Jackson said Philip lived a great life and had an important impact on the province.

“You also feel a great sense of thanks for a wonderful life and the contributions he made to the monarchy in Canada, the young people and all the causes he took up,” said Jackson.

Jackson first met the Prince during a royal visit to Saskatchewan in 1978. They met again in the early 1980s during a short personal visit to the province. Prince Philip then accompanied Queen Elizabeth II when they arrived for tours in 1987 and 2005; the latter was the last time Jackson saw the Prince in Saskatchewan.

He described Philip as a very outward and straightforward kind of person.

“He put people at their ease,” explained Jackson. “He was a great support and compliment for Queen Elizabeth II, because with her job she has to be more formal and reserved, although she is a very nice person. However Prince Philip could get in those little quips and jokes, and meet people in an informal way.”

Jackson mentioned how he was very hands-on when he engaged with members of the public during his tours, helping out with fundraisers and providing opportunities to youth in the province. He mentioned how Prince Philip still has a lasting impact among youth in the province with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for young achievers.

The Prince toured Saskatchewan eight times with visits between 1951 and 2005.

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