Page last updated at 21:35 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Prince Philip presented with Bermuda shorts

Duke of Edinburgh being given green shorts
Philip received Bermuda shorts during a visit to the island

The Duke of Edinburgh has been presented with a pair of Bermuda shorts during a visit to the island which gave them their name.

The shorts came with blue socks and a tie. Philip said he would not be putting the shorts on straight away.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are on a three-day tour of Bermuda.

Earlier, they attended a thanksgiving service in Bermuda to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the island's settlement by the British.

During the service, the island's troubled involvement with the slave trade was highlighted.

The Bishop of Bermuda, Dr Patrick White, lamented how the church did not challenge the practice and described the period as a "dark time" for Anglicans.

The bishop also highlighted present issues facing the island like tackling the problem of rising violence among young people and interracial tensions.

You'll definitely look very elegant in them
David Hamshere

He described how the settlement of Bermuda was a commercial venture and how slaves were brought to the island.

Later, Philip was presented with the gift of shorts by David Hamshere.

The shorts are traditionally worn with knee length socks, and teamed with a jacket and tie - a combination known as a "Bermuda rig".

Mr Hamshere, 70, managing director of a clothing store, made the presentation when the Queen and Philip visited Bermuda's former naval dockyard.

He told the duke: "You'll definitely look very elegant in them."

Mr Hamshere, who was born in Bournemouth but emigrated to Bermuda as a young man, later attempted to explain the history behind the style of shorts.

Colonial past

He said: "The British military officers in the late 19th Century found it was so warm and hot, because it gets humid in Bermuda.

"They were allowed to cut off their trousers, and that's how the shorts evolved."

Bermudians "took that idea and created the idea of the dress look", he added.

Britain's presence on the island happened by chance when a group of colonists heading for Jamestown, Virginia, was shipwrecked off the territory in 1609.

When they left Bermuda the following year a small party remained behind to lay claim to the islands that remain a British Overseas Territory.

The royal couple arrived on the island on Tuesday and will also travel to Trinidad and Tobago later this week.

The Queen first travelled to Bermuda in 1953, just five months after her coronation.



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