Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh
Members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping of the Colour ceremony 2017 -
Philip appeared for the first time not in uniform
On 4th May 2017, just one month prior to his 96th birthday, Buckingham Palace announced Philip's intention to 'retire' from attending public engagements. On 2nd August 2017, Philip attended his final solo public engagement in his role as Captain-General of HM Royal Marines, where in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace he celebrated the achievements of servicemen who have taken part in the 1664 Global Challenge, a series of strength and endurance feats raising funds and awareness for the Royal Marines Charity.
A BBC short film of coverage of Philip's final solo public engagement
Philip acknowledging his farewell retirement cheers
from the Corps of HM Royal Marines
ABOVE: Philip following unveiling a plaque at Lord's Cricket Ground (MCC) on the day his retirement was announced on 4th May 2017
LEFT: The Press Release from Buckingham Palace
announcing Philip's retirement
Philip's public role may have changed but he remains a focal point within his family. He remains in good health for a man of 98yrs (as of June 2019) and is now the longest serving consort to a British Sovereign and is the oldest living descendant of Queen Victoria (1819(1837-1901).
On 20th November 2017, Philip and The Queen celebrated their Platinum Wedding anniversary (70yrs) - another milestone for any member of the Royal Family, and to mark the occasion The Queen appointed Philip a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) - making him the first British national since Mountbatten to be entitled to wear the breast stars of four orders of chivalry in the United Kingdom. On 19th December 2017, Prince Henry 'Harry' of Wales, later The Duke of Sussex (b.1984) was appointed Captain-General of HM Royal Marines. He succeeded Philip in the role, who had held the appointment for 64 years.
Philip with his grandson - Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
upon his appointment as Captain-General
of HM Royal Marines, succeeding Philip
In April 2018, Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital, London for hip replacement surgery, which was so successful that Philip attended the wedding of his grandson - Prince Henry 'Harry' of Wales, later Duke of Sussex (b.1984) at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2019 without the aid of a stick or crutch. Philip has continued remain out of the public eye but in October 2019, Philip accompanied The Queen to the wedding of their granddaughter - Princess Eugenie of York (b.1990) , which was also held at St George's Chapel.
Philip (aged 97yrs) did cause further controversy in January 2019, when whilst driving his own car close to Sandringham House, Norfolk, he caused a minor traffic accident where his car overturned. As a result of the incident, the press highlighted the rights and wrongs of elderly people being legally allowed to drive without regular testing and whether they were safe on today’s busy roads. Philip took responsibility for the crash and subsequently voluntarily surrendered his driving licence and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) stated that they"took into account all of the circumstances in this case, including the level of culpability, the age of the driver and the surrender of the driving licence" and that they "decided that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute."