The Duke of Edinburgh arrived by narrow boat at the Thames Sailing Club on Monday to see the newly redecorated clubhouse.

The patron of the club, a former helmsman, made a bee-line for the junior sailors and was on “maximum charm setting”, according to club members, joking as he watched demo races on the Thames near Ravens Ait island.

Patrick Rayner said: “It’s easy, even fashionable, to mock the royals including the Duke, but no one who was there could have failed to enjoy an event where his humour, enthusiasm for sailing, informality and charm left some wonderful memories.”