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Prince Philip’s funeral: Racing pigeons take to the skies in flyby to commemorate Prince

Aberdeen's pigeon racing club liberated 10 pigeons in commemoration of Prince Philip
Aberdeen's pigeon racing club liberated 10 pigeons in commemoration of Prince Philip

Racing pigeons took to the sky from an Aberdeen park to honour the Duke of Edinburgh at the weekend.

A small crowd congregated on the green spaces out in Seaton Park at noon on Saturday to watch the pedigree birds race off to mark Prince Philip’s funeral.

Scott Robertson, co-president of Aberdeen Central Pigeon racing club said: “One of the women who had turned up to see the release had done so not just to pay tribute to Prince Philip but also because her husband had also kept pigeons while he was alive.

“She had come down from Peterhead and was joined by a host of other people who wished to pay their respects.”

Ten of the racing pigeons were set off to commemorate each decade of Prince Philip’s life.

Due to the birds’ racing pedigree it took them just two minutes to make it back to Mr Roberson’s home after being released.

Scott Robertson with a pair of his racing pigeons before releasing them.

Clocking in speeds of around 60mph, similar displays took place at 65 other towns and cities across the UK.

Mr Robertson added: “One of my friends down in Newcastle was in charge of liberating the pigeons down there and said that a sizable crowd had turned up.”

Orchestrated by the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA), the release of the birds pays homage to the Royal Family traditionally keeping pigeons of their own.

Described as an “accomplished racer” herself, Queen Elizabeth II has a well-established loft at Sandringham that both the Duke and Queen are understood to have visited regularly.

As patrons of pigeon racing throughout the UK, the Royal Family have done a lot to support the sport.

During both the First and Second World Wars, carrier pigeons from the lofts at Sandringham played a vital role in transporting messages.

Mr Robertson added: “The Royal Family has always been such a massive patron of the sport and it was only right that we did something to express our gratitude.

“A lot of the clubs’ members felt this was a good way to give back and pay our respects.”

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