Back-benchers: Grandparents who took on the PM return to favourite spot
DEFIANT grandparents Peter and Margaret Cox have spoken for the first time about their shock brush with fame – and how Prince Edward gave them a royal seal of approval.
The Plympton couple sparked a national debate earlier this week when The Herald exclusively revealed their stormy run-in with the Prime Minister.
The 77-year-olds were ordered out of a prime bench on the Hoe to make way for David Cameron during last weekend's Armed Forces Day – after getting there early to watch their grandson take part in HMS Argyll's steampast.
But, after kicking up a fuss, then reluctantly moving to another bench, they were approached by an apologetic Prince Edward.
And the fiasco not only hit the headlines in several national newspapers this week, but was also the subject of a lengthy and impassioned BBC radio phone-in.
The couple have since been inundated with calls from friends and relatives wanting to hear more about their newfound celebrity status.
Journalists have been knocking on the door of their Moorland Avenue home and hundreds of strangers have spouted their opinions on the incident online.
The Herald took the great-grandparents back to the spot on the Hoe yesterday to relive the drama.
"We were just so stubborn," Mr Cox laughed. "We wouldn't shift. I was so annoyed when they told us to move.
"We'd been stood there waiting for a seat for ages – and we're no youngsters."
But the couple, who had no idea the spot had been designated for VIPs, as it was not cordoned off, said they were not the only people ordered to budge by police officers and the PM's security guards.
A war veteran who fought in Malaya and had travelled from Newcastle for the celebrations was also told to move, Mr Cox claimed, along with several wheelchair users.
He described HRH The Earl of Wessex as "a real gentleman" for coming over to say sorry about the "manic" debacle.
"He said, 'Good for you for holding your ground'," Mr Cox added. "I'd never met a royal before. He was a real gentleman.
"It's been quite an experience being in the news. We were on holiday in Ilfracombe and our son Ian rang to say we were in the newspapers. I couldn't believe it. All our friends have rung up and said, 'You're famous at last!'."