Ready for retirement! After 70 years of public service including a naval career during WWII, Prince Philip made his final goodbye appearance before retiring from royal duties this fall.
The 96-year-old royal attended the Duke of Edinburgh ceremony in Scotland on Thursday, July 7. Despite his recent two night hospitalization for an infection, the Duke of Edinburgh looked happy as he socialized with honorees and guests. His wife, Queen Elizabeth II, was not on hand at the annual event, held in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
Since founding the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards in 1956, six million people have participated and 2.7 million awards have been given out as it became the world’s leading youth achievement award.
The royal announced his retirement plans earlier this year on May 4. ”His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, the Duke has the full support of the Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time.
However, there’s a chance he could step out for more functions in the future. “Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying the Queen. Thereafter, the Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time,” the statement continued. “Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.”
Her Majesty and Prince Philip — born Philip Mountbatten — got married in 1947. She became Queen five years later, and he became the longest serving British consort in 2009.