Sir Fordham Flower's daughter Liz recalls Stratford visit and her cheeky goof to Prince Philip
Among the most iconic photographs of The Queen’s past visits to Stratford are those from 1957. A young and beautiful Queen, she was just four years into her reign.
At the Birthplace she was pictured being shown around by Sir Fordham Flower, chair of both the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the RSC governors until his death, aged 62, in 1966.
Sir Fordham’s daughter Liz Flower, 76, remembers the visit particularly keenly for her own part in it.
She told the Herald: “My younger brother Edward and I were both taken out of school in order to present the collected works of Shakespeare to The Queen and Prince Philip as presents for Prince Charles and Princess Anne. They were small, like the Beatrix Potter books – white for Anne and red for Charles.”
At the time Liz was enrolled at a prep school near Cheltenham. Her formidable headmistress gave her strict instructions to “remember every detail so you tell us about it”.
Liz continued: “We presented the books outside the Birthplace. Prince Philip looked at me as I curtseyed and said ‘Have you read them all?’ And I just said ‘Nope!’. My headmistress was furious when I told her – ‘What you didn’t even say ‘Sir’?! How graceless!’”