By HANNAH WONG
Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, visited the new "Let There Be Light" exhibition on June 6.
Dr. Billington greeted the prince at the West Front entrance of the Jefferson building about 4 p.m. and escorted him into the Great Hall. Accompanying Prince Philip were Brian Lang, deputy chairman and chief executive of the British Library; Roy Sully, head of development for the British Library; David Daniell, exhibition curator; and Sir John Kerr, British ambassador.
As Dr. Billington pointed out the architectural highlights of the Great Hall, the prince spoke to a visiting middle school student from Iowa who was standing in a crowd of onlookers.
Prince Philip seemed absorbed in the exhibition, "Let There Be Light: William Tyndale and the Making of the English Bible" (see related story). Curator David Daniell highlighted particular objects and answered his questions. The prince "was very interested and asked a lot of questions about the translations," said Thomas Noonan of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, who also accompanied the prince through the exhibition.
After the tour, the group went into the Librarian's Ceremonial Office, where Prince Philip saw various rare items from the Library's collections. Mr. Noonan and manuscript historian Marvin Kranz displayed and explained a 1595 English spy map, an engraving that was the first representation of an American city and a letter to Thomas Jefferson from John Adams about George III's kindness to him in England.
The prince was served tea, with which "he took with lots of cream," according to a staffer, cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon on pumpernickel, chicken salad and cookies.
Learning that Josephus Nelson, a research specialist in the Library's Development Office, had studied at Oxford University, Prince Philip asked him about his studies and his position at the Library.
Taking time to chat with exhibition coordinator Carroll Johnson, the prince learned about other Library exhibitions. "He was very surprised and impressed that the Library had these exhibits. I think if he had had time, he would have liked to see all of them," Ms. Johnson said.
As the prince was leaving, he asked a visitor to the Library: "Did you find your book?"
Ms. Wong is an intern in the Public Affairs Office.