"Prince Philip made a stop in Iowa 'Flyover Country' during trip to Washington in 1969."
The story involves a refueling stop made during November of 1969 at Mason City Municipal Airport by a twin-turbobprop plane, with the prince at the controls, headed from a hunting trip at Canyon Ranch near Sheridan, Wyoming, to Washington, D.C., where he planned to dine with President Nixon.
I wasn't there at the time, of course, enrolled instead I think at U.S. Army Intelligence School, Fort Holabird, Maryland. In fact, it had never occurred to me that I'd ever live in the wilds of North Iowa.
Some years later, in 1984, the queen and her consort paid a joint visit to Canyon Ranch as guests of her friends, Jean (Wallop) and Henry Herbert, 7th Earl (and Countess) of Carnarvon --- then residents of Highclere Castle, most widely known today as the setting for Downton Abbey.
Jean Wallop was a granddaughter of Oliver Henry Wallop, a younger son dispatched in the late 19th century to the former colonies who unexpectedly became the 8th Earl of Portsmouth and thereupon returned to England, leaving his second son, Oliver Malcolm Wallop, behind to manage the Wyoming properties. Jean and her brother, Malcolm --- prominent in Wyoming both politically and financially --- were the latter's children.
In any case, at the time of the royal visit to Sheridan, my first-cousin, Jessie, and her husband, Bob Duncan, lived (and still do) on the north side of Airport Road in Sheridan with a view of Big Horn Mountains across the extensive grounds of the Sheridan County Airport, site of airborne royal comings and goings. My parents and I visited soon after the royals departed, I believe, and I remember the discussion about their front-row seat.
None of this is of any consequence at all, but sorting out the distinguished lineages of various aristocratic families did help me to awaken my brain this morning and I'm grateful for that.