Murphy and the Princess

Murphy & the Princess

DI Murphy accompanies Princess Elizabeth, Belfast, June 1949

There was no difficulty finding gunmen in those days. Swordsmen were rarer. But blades are the style when you’re escorting a princess. There she is, the future Queen Elizabeth, looking very nicely turned out.

It’s understandable that you didn’t notice her at first glance, given the distinguished handsome bloke beside her. He’s District Inspector Murphy – aka Great Uncle Mike – of B District.

He tended to be called in to lead RUC parades on royal visits, partly because he was one of the few officers versed in sword drill. That came from his Irish Guard days.

On this occasion Princess Elizabeth is inspecting an RUC Guard of Honour at Belfast City Hall in June 1949. The following month Michael Murphy was promoted from DI 2nd class to DI 1st class.

Another family policing link is here – Dan Waters of the RIC.



Filed under family history

15 responses to “Murphy and the Princess

  1. Hi Blackwatertown – thank you for your post on the World of Royalty Message Board. Sorry it got caught in the board’s spam filter. The word “escort” is banned due to a persistent spammer, but you had no way of knowing that. I’ve edited the post now to correct that.

  2. 29

    Re Murphy and the Princess,
    I was there that day, the weather was fine and dry which was good as sometimes in wet weather he had some discomfort due to retained shrapnel from wounds on the Western Front.

  3. C Black

    Is that Mr Murphy who lived in Alliance Avenue by any chance? DI Murphy who lived there was kind to me as a child.

  4. IH

    I’m not sure if this page is still up and running, but regardless, I was delighted to see this photograph of my Grandfather – Michael Murphy – thank you for sharing it. My Papa Murphy was hugely influential in my life and many of the lessons he taught me still resonate with me today.

  5. Thank you for posting this Paul. My husband and his sister were very touched to see this picture…DI Murphy was their grandfather x
    P.S. Granny (Eileen) Harvey always spoke of the Water family with much love.

    • blackwatertown

      Breige – apologies to you too for the delay in posting your comment. This blog has been dormant for a while. It might be time for it to creak back into action soon.
      And thanks for your comment.

  6. Des

    Hi Breige, and other relatives and friends. I am the youngest of the original family from Alliance Avenue. John’s mother Eileen (RIP) is my sister , so now we are all clear on the connections. Just to say my father (Michael Murphy (ex RIC, RUC)) wrote a long and detailed history of his life and career. Presently I am having this updated and revised if anyone wants a copy when completed just contact me.

    • Carson Black

      Hello Desmond

      It is unlikely that you would remember me. I am the nephew of the Carson’s who lived across the road at number 14. I would be very interested in your father’s history. Both he and Mrs Murphy were kind to me as a child. I do still have the handcuffs Mr Murphy gave me over 50 years ago which I now know were RIC. If your family would like them back or if you feel they should be in the museum do please let me know.

      • Des Murphy

        Hi Carson,
        I do remember you but you were very young then, and I have to confess I don’t remember you very well. In fact the Carson family had an unusual interest for me. I am a chartered quantity surveyor and your uncle first told me all about the job as a career possibility and what it was all about. In fact when I was still at school, he gave me the name of the company he was working for and I met his boss at the time.Your aunt Doris visited me in Cork with my mother. As you can see I have very fond memories of the folk in No 14.
        I will revert back to you regarding the handcuffs but personally I would think the museum is the appropriate home.
        Finally when my father’s memoirs are finally edited I will make sure you have a copy, there is plenty of time but I will need your own Email address to send them to you.

  7. james Holmes

    Desmond, I have a few photos of DI Murphy taken by my grandfather at Springfield road RUC station in 1944, Would you like a copy. I CAN E-MAIL THEM.

    • Des Murphy

      Pure chance that I went back into this topic. Thanks for your offer, I would be very much like to get copies of the photos. If you read this come back and I will follow up with details.

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