February 18


Prince Philip, DecPlay and the Falling Trousers

By declan@decplaypiano.com

February 18, 2021

Trying to Avert Disaster When Declan Met Prince Phillip

Real life can be stranger (and sometimes funnier) than fiction. Here's part of my DecPlay piano story that involves a prince, a palace and trousers that don't want to stay up.......

The video below explains all :-

Left hand in pocket - desperately trying to avoid disaster! 

Prince Philip, DecPlay and the Falling Trousers

Transcript of Above Video ...

I love how real life can often be stranger than fiction and sometimes funnier than fiction. So I'd like to share this little story with you.

Invitation to the Palace

I was invited to have a meal with Prince Philip down at the palace. A few people are invited down every year from charities that he is working with, or people who are doing work that he appreciates. I had to hire a black tie suit. I didn't have one at the time, so I used to just hire one for the odd occasion, when I need one.

So I hired a black tie suit and it was in a black cover bag. I was working late that night, so I arrived home about 11:00pm at night and put this suit in the black, cover bag on the hall stand. I went straight to bed because I had to be up early the next day, something like 5am, to drive down to London, pick a friend up en route, get to the hotel and then get to the palace in time for the meal.

Early Start - Where It All Went Wrong!

So I woke up the next morning bleary eyed something like 5:00am and I grabbed the suit bag and put it straight in the car. Went to pick my friend up driving down the motorway a few hours away, I was making good time. Everything's going great ... until the phone goes. This other friend of mine called Marek, who shared the house with me, was on the phone. I had my earpiece in and my friend couldn't hear our conversation.

He said "pull the call over Dec, I've got some bad news." I'm going "what do you mean?". I was in the fast lane of the motorway and we had to make sure that we weren't late for this thing. So I said, "no, I'm fine. I'm OK driving. Just just tell me." And he said, "well, I came in after you last night. I'd been to the dry cleaners during the day. And so when I came in last night, I put my suit that was in a black cover bag on the hall stand."

He said "you've got my suit" (which was brightly coloured) "and I've got your black tie suit". There was no way I had time to turn around and go back, it would've taken hours. There's no way I could do that. So what are the chances of that happening? It was the first time I'd ever put a black tie suit on that hall stand and the chance of him coming in and putting his over mine? I wouldn't believe that if I read that in a film script, I'd say, "oh yeah, like that's going to happen!"

Anyway. I thought ... no problem. Keep cool. I'd got about an hour gap between getting into the hotel and over to the palace. So I thought - right. It's London. Hopefully there'll be a suit hire shop somewhere nearby. I'll just go out and hire one. It's really pushing it now, but I can't I can't let on there's a problem to my friend because it would ruin their day and the stress would be awful.

So anyway, we got down to London and they go to the hotel room to change.

I went to the concierge. I went quick quick - you've got to save me here now. I need to hire a black tie suit, but I need it within 15, 20 minutes because then I need to change and get to the palace in an hour's time. He starts laughing. I'm going, "what's so funny?" I thought he might say, "well, the nearest shop is two miles away. You've got no chance of doing that in an hour."

But he's going "you've got no chance of hiring a suit!" (I said) "What do you mean? This is London. Must be loads of them." And he's laughing his head off and said "this morning was the Queen's annual garden party" - which apparently there's tons and tons of people go to this, all in black black tie and he said, "you've got no chance to hire a black tie suit and you've definitely no chance of getting one in an hour." "Anyway," I said, "well, I've got to you, you've got to save me."

So I said, "where's the nearest shop" so he points down the road and said "about a quarter mile down there, there's a couple of shops."


Race To Avert Disaster

So I'm running down the road. It's a hot summer's day. Now I'm getting stressed. Anyway, so I run down there. The first shop I come to, it's like a bomb's hit. The place has been ransacked. It's just empty rails and shelves and coathangers on the floor. And I say to the guy the story, I tell him "I need it - I've got ten minutes.

You got to help me." Anyway, he goes in the back of the shop and you hear him rummaging around muttering ...... then he comes out with this stuff. It's a jacket which is too big. Well, you know that can I can manage with that - then the trousers they're way too short - they're inches up my leg and they're way too big. They just like falling down like clown's trousers and he says "that's it. That's all I've got.

All the rest of the stuff is too small for you. You won't even get in it." So I just grab it. I'll make do. And of course these trousers have no things for a belt because they're a dress suit. So I'll sort something out, I just grabbed it and I run back to the hotel, I'm really, really up against the time now. So I'm walking down to the palace and I thought I could do it.

It Worked Ok Until Prince Philip Went to Shake Hands

I could close my jacket and push the pants down halfway down my bum, like those those kind of rap guys. But obviously that's hidden by the jacket. So that's OK. I can push them right down so the length now becomes normal as I'm walking up to the palace. And I thought, well, I can just keep that inside. But the problem was it was so hot inside, I had to open my jacket. I was absolutely sweltering.

But what I did was I kept my hand in the pocket so the pants wouldn't fall all the way down. So I thought OK, we're doing all right now, I will keep my hand in my pocket, then everything's good. So I have my my glass of champagne. I've got my hand in the pocket. Everything's is looking good until Prince Philip then put his hand out to shake hands. I was like.... I had to do like a Mr Bean thing of spreading my legs, so I had to push my legs, so wide apart, right out so the pants wouldn't fall down, so I could swap my glass into that hand and actually shake his hand.

My friends going "Oh", but I managed it! Ok so I looked a bit odd, but I don't think Prince Philip noticed the odd movements and he didn't tell me if he did. In fact, he was doing silly movements later. He was giving me stick - I'd explained that the type of piano I do (at DecPlay) is not so much classical, it's more pop based. And then he came over saying, "so is it that boom boom bang bang type of music?" as he was doing this funny dance. 

All's Well That Ends Well

At least I didn't get arrested for indecent exposure, so. All is good.

I could read a bit of music and play tunes in my right hand but didn't know what to do with my left hand. 

Within days I learnt to play 2 songs, with both hands.

DecPlay makes it easy ..... it's fun! 

Eric (age 76)


I am now retired and over the years I had tried learning piano but found it overwhelming.

The DecPlay system made it possible for me to play right away, with just a modicum of practice, Genius!

I'm experiencing the pleasure of creating music for the first time in my life.



At 59 yrs I had never played an instrument and was unable to read music (having tried several times).

Within weeks the DecPlay system enabled me to play songs I love on piano.

It's great that I don’t need to 'read music' in order for me to play and enjoy the piano every day.



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