VIDEO: Earl apologises after grandparents have to give up prime view of HMS Argyll
PROUD grandparents Peter and Margaret Cox had a surprise run-in with a Royal when they refused to budge for the Prime Minister.
Prince Edward apologised to the 77-year-olds after they were ordered to give up a top spot on the Hoe.
Video by Edd Moore, The Herald
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The couple had arrived early to claim a bench with panoramic views of Plymouth Sound, ready to watch their grandson take part in HMS Argyll's dramatic steam-past.
But, little did they know, the spot had been allocated to dignitaries including HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, and PM David Cameron.
And they were less than amused at being asked to budge by police officers and security guards when the entourage arrived.
After reluctantly moving to a different bench nearby, the Prince approached the couple to apologise for getting in the way.
"The police asked us to shift and I said 'I'm not going to'," Mr Cox explained.
"He said, 'David Cameron is going there' and I said, 'I don't care about David Cameron'.I wanted to see HMS Argyll, and we were comfy. But we compromised and sat on the end bench eventually."
Mr and Mrs Cox, from Plympton, were allowed to remain inside a cordoned-off high-security area for the steampast.
Their grandson, Petty Officer David Cox, was taking part ahead of joining HMS Argyll next month.
The 29-year-old, who is married to HMS Raleigh drill instructor Chantell, has recently been serving on fellow Type 23 frigate HMS Kent.
He was not the only family member involved in Armed Forces Day.
The pensioners' son Ian Cox took part in the parade as a former paratrooper.
Meanwhile, eldest son Royston used to be in the RAF and Mr Cox himself once worked on Royal Navy ships at Devonport Dockyard.
As soon as the steampast was over, an apologetic Prince Edward made a beeline for the couple.
"You didn't have to move," he told them. "I'm sorry about that. For some strange reason they've decided that you were in the wrong place. It wasn't your fault."
The Earl chatted with Mr and Mrs Cox for several minutes, asking them about their grandson and noting the "fantastic" view and weather.
Mr Cox said afterwards: "I certainly didn't expect Prince Edward to come and speak to us. I was a bit stunned but he was very nice."