In front of Buckingham Palace amidst crowds, cheers and pouring rain was the moment in which Prince Philip performed his final solo appearance on 2nd August, choosing to retire from royal public engagements after a staggering seven decades of service. Despite grey clouds, the Duke of Edinburgh was seen sporting both a smile and bowler hat, cracking his usual jokes after a stirring tribute from the Royal Marines. Having attended over 22,000 engagements alone, the weather was not enough to dampen his spirits this time and with a final wave to the audience, Prince Philip walked back towards the palace and into retirement. Here we take a look back over the Duke’s key moments, commemorating his outstanding royal service to Britain.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was born in Greece in 1921 into both the Greek and Danish Royal Families. After being educated in Germany, France and the UK, then joining the British Royal Navy, he began his correspondence with the then Princess Elizabeth II in 1939.
Wikipedia: Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were married in Westminster Abbey on the 20th November 1947, merely months after their engagement was formally announced. Here they stand in their coronation portrait, 1953, and in 1957 Philip was officially made a British Prince.
After Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953, Prince Philip supported the Queen as her consort and joined her on numerous royal ceremonies and tours abroad. Here they are pictured on their trip to New Zealand, but in 1956 Prince Philip toured the world alone. During this time, he opened the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
Wikipedia: Archives New Zealand
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip pictured with a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Together they had four children in total: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
Wikipedia: Library and Archives Canada
In 1956, Prince Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh award, an organisation aimed at inspiring young adults and transforming their lives through a series of self-improvement activities. Over the last seven decades and now spanning 144 nations, the Duke of Edinburgh award is still as immensely popular as it was at the time of its formation. Once a participant showcases their commendable commitment, they may be given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be presented the Gold Award by the Duke himself.
Flickr: Northern Ireland Office
Over his lifetime, Prince Philip has been closely associated with the military. At eighteen he joined the British Royal Navy, served in the Mediterranean and Pacific fleet during World War II, became a lieutenant in 1942 and was presented with Royal Air Force wings in 1953. During the years, the Duke’s commitment to the military never wavered and he regularly visited troops in order to award honours and exchange light-hearted smiles.
Flickr Jamie: McCaffrey
At the age of 96 and after an astounding 22,219 solo engagements made since 1952, Prince Philip retires from public royal duties. He leaves as the longest-serving consort of a British monarch, one the Queen named her “constant strength and guide” during her 2012 Jubilee speech.
Featured image: Flickr Defence Images
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