Helen Prest-Ajayi shares photo of grandfather meeting Prince Philip in 1958

Helen Prest-Ajayi

Former Miss Nigeria Helen Prest-Ajayi on Friday shared a photo of her grandfather Arthur Prest meeting the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth on their maiden visit to Nigeria in 1958.

The former beauty queen posted the photo to Instagram in memory of Prince Philip who died on Friday at the age of 99.

Her grandfather was born in February 1906 to a white English father from Liverpool who was a ship’s captain and a colonialist, and an Itsekiri princess Nigerian mother, Princess Mami Ogbe who was the daughter of the Olu of Warri.

“On hearing of Prince Phillip’s passing I immediately went to our family album and dug out the photograph of my Grandfather Chief Arthur Prest meeting the Queen and Prince Phillip on their maiden visit to Nigeria in 1958,” she wrote as caption for her post.

Prest-Ajayi said Prince Philip’s passing was the end of an era for the royal family, adding that he too was initially regarded as an outsider like Princess Diana and Meghan Markle.

“I liked him because he was true to himself and his world view, no apologies. But I liked him even more when I discovered many years back that he had a number of Nigerian friends, my late Grandfather-in-law Late Chief SL Edu being one of them,” she added.

Prest-Ajayi’s grandfather alongside Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Anthony Enahoro and others fought for Nigeria’s independence and attended the Lancaster House talks that negotiated Nigeria’s independence.

He was one-time the high commissioner for the federation of Nigeria to the UK.

He had several children, the most prominent being his first son Michael Prest who became a successful lawyer, politician and chief of staff to President Shehu Shagari in 1979.

Michael Prest had four children, the eldest being Prest-Ajayi.