Prince Philip Attends His Last Official Royal Engagement, Retires From Public Life

Prince Philip
Prince Philip attends a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge at the Buckingham Palace Forecourt on August 2, 2017. Hannah McKay - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Stepping out of the spotlight. Prince Philip carried out his final official royal engagement on Wednesday, August 2, after seven decades of public service.

For his final solo engagement, the 96-year-old attended a Royal Marines military parade. According to The Guardian, he performed the royal salute to mark the end of the 1664 Global Challenge, a series of 100 challenges over 100 days to raise money for The Royal Marines Charity. 

Prince Philip
Prince Philip attends a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge at the Buckingham Palace Forecourt on August 2, 2017. Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Although it rained on the parade, Philip looked to be in good spirits and wore a tan raincoat, black pants and a bowler hat. At the event’s conclusion, the crowd cheered and the Royal Marines band played “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

The former naval officer, who married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947, announced in May that he was retiring from public life. “His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. “In taking this decision, the Duke has the full support of the Queen.”

Prince Philip
Prince Philip attends a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge at the Buckingham Palace Forecourt on August 2, 2017. Hannah McKay/Pool/AFP/Getty Images

Philip may still attend the occasional event with the Queen, though. “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 added. “Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.”

Prime Minister Theresa May took to Twitter to congratulate the royal on retiring after completing an astonishing number of engagements over the years. “As he carries out his final public engagement, I thank The Duke of Edinburgh for a remarkable lifetime of service,” she tweeted on Wednesday. “I hope The Duke, after 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, can now enjoy a well-earned retirement!”

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