In 1852 so the story goes, young Freddie Attrill was gathering shellfish on Osborne beach. Another boy came over and told Freddie to clear off, kicking his bucket over as he did so. Freddie stood his ground and gave the boy a good thump, only to be told by attendants rushing on the scene that he had just punched Albert Edward, Queen Victoria’s eldest son and heir to the throne.
The story goes that Freddie was summoned to Osborne House where the Queen rather than admonish the boy, praised his courage and for standing up for himself, describing her son's behaviour as quite wrong. Depending on which story you believe he might have been given several guineas.
The event is commemorated by this relief on the wall of a house just off the Esplanade in East Cowes.
Header Photo: St. Lawrence Skiff
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