Prince Philip: 14-year-old Duke's trip to Edinburgh revealed

Fascinating details and pictures of a trip to Edinburgh by a schoolboy Prince Philip have emerged.

John Bartholomew, 64, revealed his family connections to His Royal Highness including a special weekend when the young Prince Philip stayed with his grandparents in the city, and was given his first ever golf lesson by his aunt in West Linton.

Mr Bartholomew said his father, John, and the Duke of Edinburgh were at school together and although they were never really close, they kept in touch over the years.

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He said that the young prince stayed with his grandparents for the weekend when he was 14 in June 1935.

The photo which features in the visitors book of Prince Philip's visit to George Square in Edinburgh in 1935. From left: Granny Minou Bartholomew, Philip of Greece, Aunt Ailie, Matthias Paneth, front: Uncles Robbie and Pete. Pic copyright: Image reproduced with kind permission of the Bartholomew Family.
The photo which features in the visitors book of Prince Philip's visit to George Square in Edinburgh in 1935. From left: Granny Minou Bartholomew, Philip of Greece, Aunt Ailie, Matthias Paneth, front: Uncles Robbie and Pete. Pic copyright: Image reproduced with kind permission of the Bartholomew Family.

He said: “Philip already had connections to Moray and came to Gordonstoun School in 1934. My dad joined the school the following year. He had been at Edinburgh Academy first but it didn’t suit him and so he then went to Gordonstoun.

"It wasn’t a big school so he got to know Philip quite well but they were never that close because there was an age difference – dad was a year younger – so they weren’t in the same class.

"But when Philip and another boy Matthias Paneth were sent to Edinburgh for a sports fixture, it was my grandparents who offered to take them in for the weekend.

"He stayed with my grandparents, who at that time lived in George Square, for the weekend of June 14-16 in 1935. My grandad was the mapmaker John Bartholomew and he and my granny would always spend weekends in West Linton, they had a weekend house there which was right beside the golf course.

Prince Philip's thank you letter to John Bartholomew's grandparents, dated 18 June 1935. Pic copyright: Image reproduced with kind permission of the Bartholomew Family.

"While Philip was there, my dad’s older sister, my aunt Ailie Bartholomew, gave him his first golf lesson there on the course. I don’t have any further information about that except that that happened.”

A retired mapmaker himself, Mr Bartholomew, of Straiton, revealed the young Philip had sent his grandfather a thank you note for having him stay. Philip wrote: “We thank you for our most enjoyable stay with you. It was very kind of you to put us up for the weekend and we enjoyed the drive into the country immensely. We gave John his stuff as soon as we arrived.”

Mr Bartholomew said: “The fun thing about it was the thank you letter Philip sent to my grandad – when he wrote: ‘I gave John his stuff’, meaning my grandparents had given Philip things, not sure if it was clothes or food, to give to my dad when Philip arrived back at Gordonstoun.

"My grandparents never really went into details about his stay but it was always talked about in the family – the story of when he came – and I have the visitors’ book where there is a photograph of Philip with my granny, Matthias, aunt Ailie and my uncles Robbie and Peter.”

Visitors book entry, Prince Philip's visit to 19 George Sq. Edinburgh in June 1935. Pic copyright: Pic copyright: Image reproduced with kind permission of the Bartholomew Family.

Mr Bartholomew said in later years his father, who passed away in 2008, would gift maps and atlases to Prince Philip, who visited his company a few times, for his world travels.

"When Prince Philip and the Queen came to the map company they always interacted with my dad – they met many times but always in formal settings.”

He added: “The key thing that brought them together was the extraordinary tradition at Gordonstoun. My dad had lots of memories from his time there and he would have been sad to learn of Prince Philip’s passing.”

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The photo which features in the visitors book of Prince Philip's visit to George Square in Edinburgh in 1935. From left: Granny Minou Bartholomew, Philip of Greece, Aunt Ailie, Matthias Paneth, front: Uncles Robbie and Pete. Pic copyright: Image reproduced with kind permission of the Bartholomew Family.

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