Duke of Edinburgh feared Miss Piggy encounter at Coronation Concert

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The Duke of Edinburgh admitted he was concerned about the royal box being crashed by Miss Piggy during the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle.

The duke aired his concern about the amorous Muppet as he and the Duchess of Edinburgh spoke to puppy raisers at a Guide Dogs for the Blind Association Training Centre.

Although Miss Piggy did not end up joining the royal box during the concert, Kermit the Frog could be seen waving and dancing in front of the duke.

The Duke of Edinburgh laughs at Kermit the frog enters the royal box
The Duke of Edinburgh laughs at Kermit the frog enters the royal box (Screengrab/PA)

“There was an empty seat just behind me and we didn’t know who it was for.

“We suddenly thought it could be her and once we started that rumour, everyone around us was very nervous.”

King Charles III coronation
The Duke of Edinburgh (Peter Nicholls/PA)

Despite the grey, rainy weather on Saturday, he said: “It’s the fourth coronation on which it’s rained so it was quite appropriate that we managed to continue that tradition.”

The duke and duchess joined puppies Hollie, Lucy, Luker, Nyla and Sunny and their volunteer puppy raisers at a special training class as part of The Big Help Out.

Across the country, people have been encouraged to devote some free time on the Monday of the coronation bank holiday weekend for the event – which is aimed at showcasing volunteering.

For the day’s event, the centre was transformed into a pop-up cafe, designed to teach the puppies the skills needed to become guide dogs.

The royals looked at ease with the dogs, who were aged between eight weeks and 14 months, as they helped to put them through their paces.

The skills they were helping to train included food manners and how to refocus the guide dogs in a busy cafe.

One of the puppy raisers, Fran Tayor, 75, from Theale, Berkshire, admitted she thought the duchess was better at handling the guide dogs than the duke.

The married mother-of-two said: “They’ve both got dogs themselves and they were brilliant with them, but the duchess was better.”

Fran has fostered 17 puppies over the past 20 years, and her dog, Lucy, is a four-month-old Labrador/golden retriever cross-breed.

Although Lucy strained on her lead to reach for a snack as the duchess walked her, Fran said: “Lucy probably behaved better with the duchess than she does when I handle her.”

The puppies live with puppy raisers from eight-weeks-old to a year before they are put into training to become guide dogs.

The duchess became the royal patron of Guide Dogs in July 2021, taking over from Princess Alexandra.

She is also an ambassador for the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and has previously spoken about how her daughter Lady Louise’s sight problems as a child inspired her to campaign for the blind and visually impaired.

Guide Dogs chairman Jamie Hambro said: “We are grateful for the Duchess of Edinburgh and the duke taking part in today’s session to raise awareness of volunteering and its benefits, and of course for all our volunteers who continue to support us.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be able to reach and support as many people with sight loss as we do.”

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