Prince Harry met 105-year-old army doctor Bill Frankland at his first Buckingham Palace garden party
Former cavalry officer Harry met Bill Frankland as he hosted his first Buckingham Palace garden party.
Taking over the role traditionally associated with his grandmother the Queen, he mingled with specially invited veterans from all the Forces.
Dr Frankland, who had a service career including three years as a Japanese prisoner of war, is one of the world’s top allergy experts.
After meeting the Prince he explained he was summoned by the Iraqi dictator in the 1970s – when relations with Britain were cordial.
“They said he was doing very badly with hayfever and asthma and getting worse,” he said. “So they sent for me – they said I was the best allergist in Europe.
“In fact he wasn’t allergic and he didn’t have asthma. When he wasn’t eating, sleeping or praying he was smoking. He smoked all the time, that was what his problem was.
“To his face I said, ‘I treat you the same way as head of the state as I would treat a beggar’. I said, ‘If you go on smoking as you are you will not be head of state in two years’ time’ – that was a very silly thing to say – he gave up smoking there and then.”
I treat you the same way as head of the state as I would treat a beggar
Dr Bill Frankland
Saddam was executed in 2006, aged 69. Oxford-educated Dr Frankland spent the Second World War in the Royal Army Medical Corps and was taken prisoner in Singapore.
His academic work was inspired by noticing that the Japanese guards had become immune to native insect bites.
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Mr Frankland was sent to treat Saddam Hussein in he 1970’s and persuaded him to quit smoking
After the war he joined St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, west London, where Harry was born, as a senior immunologist in the allergy department.
He collaborated with Alexander Fleming on the development of penicillin and also championed making pollen counts available.
From 1963 the figures were broadcast for millions of hayfever sufferers. Despite retiring aged 65, he worked as an unpaid consultant for Guy’s Hospital for 20 years and continued to write for medical journals and appear as a specialist witness in court cases.
Prince Harry was hosting his first garden party after taking over the role from the Queen
Today’s function, organised by The Not Forgotten Association, brought together old soldiers, airmen, Marines and sailors, and Women’s Auxiliary Air Force veterans.
Harry also joked with bomb disposal expert Jack Cummings, who he saw earlier while unveiling GB’s Invictus Games team, in which he will compete as a swimmer and archer.
Mr Cummings, 28, who lost both his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2010, was joined by fiancee Sarah Hoare, 28, at the party which he described as a “bucket list” experience.