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PRINCE PHILIP, 1st DUKE OF EDINBURGH
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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.

The Press Release from Buckingham Palace announcing Philip's retirement

 

ABOVE: The Press Release from Buckingham Palace

announcing Prince Philip's

retirement from public duties

RIGHT: Prince Philip following unveiling a plaque

at Lord's Cricket Ground (The MCC)

on the day his retirement from public duties

was announced publicly on 4th May 2017

Philip following unveiling a plaque at Lord's Cricket Ground (MCC) on the day his retirement was announced on 4th May 2017
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 ​

 

Members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace,

following Trooping the Colour in 2017 -

the first time Prince Philip did not participate in the Parade and not appear in uniform

 

A short film by BBC News with coverage of
Prince Philip's final solo engagement in August 2017

Philip acknowledging his farewell retirement cheers from the Corps of HM Royal Marines ​

 

Prince Philip acknowledging

the farewell retirement cheers

from the Corps of HM Royal Marines in August 2017

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 to remain out of the public eye - preferring to spend time at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate, 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."

From 20th-24th December 2019, Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII's Hospital in London, and received treatment for a "pre-existing condition", in a visit described by Buckingham Palace as a "precautionary measure" .  He was able to return to Sandringham for Christmas 2019 to be with his family, however rumours persisted about Philip's health.

Philip's public role may have changed in 2017 but he remained a focal point within his family.  At the time of his 98th birthday in June 2019, he was the longest serving consort to a British Sovereign and 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 - however he was never to be photographed with four stars!  On 19th December 2017, it was announced that Prince Henry 'Harry' of Wales, later The Duke of Sussex (b.1984) was appointed Captain-General of HM Royal Marines after holding 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 ​

 

Prince Philip with his grandson - 

Prince Harry of Wales,

(later The Duke of Sussex) upon

his appointment as

Captain-General of HM Royal Marines

(which The Duke had held

previously for 64yrs)

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Prince Philip in 2018 at the wedding of

his grandson - Prince Harry of Wales

(later The Duke of Sussex)

at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle
 

A newspaper report of Philip's car accident in January 2019 ​

 

A report in "The Times" about Prince Philip's

car accident in January 2019

at Sandringham, Norfolk

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle following relinquishing his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles ​

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in March 2020, Philip (then aged 98yrs) left Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk - where he had been living mostly on his own since his retirement from public engagements in 2017, to join Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) - then aged 94yrs, to shield together at Windsor Castle with 22 close members of staff, informally known as "HMS Bubble".  In July 2020 (in a rare public appearance), Philip stepped down as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles in an small informal ceremony at Windsor Castle.  Although he had only been Colonel-in-Chief since 2007, his connection with this infantry regiment went back to 1953.  Philip was succeeded as Colonel-in-Chief by his daughter-in-law, Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall (b.1947) - who received the honour at a separate ceremony at Highgrove House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire.

 

Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh

at Windsor Castle

following relinquishing his role as

Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles in July 2020

On 16th February 2021, Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London "as a precautionary measure" after "feeling unwell" , but despite responding to treatment, he was subsequently transferred to on 1st March 2021 to St Bartholomew's Hospital (known as 'Barts') - the oldest hospital in the UK and home to Europe's largest specialised cardiovascular service.  Once again, speculation was rife over Philip's health and the hospital subsequently announced - "The Duke of Edinburgh was transferred from King Edward VII's Hospital to St Bartholomew's Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition."   He returned to the King Edward VII Hospital on 5th March 2021 and was subsequently discharged from the hospital on 16th March 2021 and returned to Windsor Castle.  

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One of the last photographs of Prince Philip

- taken as he left King Edward VII's

Hospital, London for the last time in April 2021

On 9th April 2021, it was announced by Buckingham Palace that Philip had died peacefully, with The Queen at his side, at Windsor Castle.  Philip was aged 99yrs (just two months short of his 100th birthday).  The plans for his funeral - "Operation Forth Bridge" (drawn up years ago, but amended prior to his death) were instigated and flags across the nation and The Commonwealth, were lowered to half-mast. Upon his death, the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth & Baron Greenwich were inherited in accordance with the original grant by Letters Patent in 1947, by his eldest son - Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948), however it is extremely unlikely he will ever be styled as such.  Following the titles merging with the Crown (ie: upon The Prince of Wales succeeding to the Throne), a new grant (as agreed in 1999) would be made in favour of Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex (b.1964).

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The Quadrangle, Windsor Castle

with representatives from the military connected

to Prince Philip,

awaiting the arrival of his coffin

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Prince Philip's coffin was driven

on a purpose built Land Rover

(designed by Prince Philip)

with members of the Royal Family

and his Household on foot,

and The State Bentley at the rear

with Queen Elizabeth II (his widow)

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ABOVE: The Order of Service

for Prince Philip's funeral at St George's Chapel.

To download a copy of the Order of Service

FREE from the official Royal Family's website - 
click on the image above

BELOW: Prince Philip's coffin

(draped in his personal standard)
in the Horseshoe Cloister, Windsor Castle

(carried by members of the Corps

of HM Royal Marines) prior to going

up the steps of St George's Chapel

in the funeral procession in April 2021

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The official BBC announcement on live television

reporting the death of Prince Philip in April 2021

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The Union Flag at half-mast above

Buckingham Palace shortly after

Prince Philip's death was announced

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The official BBC announcement on live television

reporting the death of Prince Philip in April 2021

Like all members of the Royal Family, Philip had already planned most of his own funeral stating that he did not want "much fuss".  However, due to the UK Government coronavirus restrictions only thirty people could attend, so sadly the funeral he had planned could not happen - but most of his wishes were accommodated within the regulationsFollowing his death, Philip's coffin lay privately in the Private Chapel (which Philip had redesigned following the 1992 fire restoration) within Windsor Castle and the public were politely asked not to lay flowers at any of the Royal residences - however many ignored this. 

 

A scaled down Royal Ceremonial Funeral was held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire on 17th April 2021, with a reduced military procession from the Quadrangle within the Castle.  Philip's coffin was driven to St George's Chapel on the back of a Land Rover Defender (which Philip had helped to design) as a hearse, and members of his family and household  followed the coffin on foot, with Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) being driven in the State Bentley.  As the coffin (draped in The Duke's personal standard, with his Naval cap and sword on top) reached the West Door of St George's Chapel, the whole country and Commonwealth fell silent at 3pm for a minute of silence.  At the service - which was conducted by The Rt Rev David Conner (b.1947), Dean of Windsor and The Most Rev & Rt Hon. Justin Welby (b.1956), Archbishop of Canterbury, there was no congregation, no eulogy, no sermon and the hymns were sung by just three Lay Clerks from the Chapel's choir and the soprano Miriam Allan (b.1977).  As the service concluded, Garter King of Arms - Sir Thomas Woodstock (b.1951) read out Philip's styles and titles, and his coffin was lowered down to the Royal Vault (underneath St George's Chapel) - where it will remain until the death of Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952-    ) and in time, they will both be buried in the King George VI's Memorial Chapel, and be reunited once again... forever.

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ABOVE: The funeral procession of

Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh

on Castle Hill, Windsor Castle

LEFT: Sir Thomas Woodcock, Garter King of Arms

on the steps of the Altar in St George's Chapel

reading out Prince Philip's styles, titles and honours

prior to his coffin being lowered into the Royal Vault.

Upon the Altar, are Prince Philip's

orders and decorations

 

RIGHT: A short film from

the UK Royal Family website showing

highlights from the funeral of

Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh

in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

BELOW: The lone figure

of a widow at her husband's funeral

- Queen Elizabeth II

(wearing a face mask and

seated on her own) in accordance

with Covid regulations)

at the funeral of Prince Philip,

1st Duke of Edinburgh

in St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

in April 2021.

This photograph will be one of the

iconic images of the effects of the

Covid-19 pandemic

 

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On 29th March 2022, a Memorial Service of Thanksgiving was held at Westminster Abbey, London to honour and commemorate the life of The late Duke.  The clergy who officiated were - The Very Rev. David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster (b.1957), Dean of Windsor, The Rt Rev David Conner (b.1947), Dean of Windsor and The Most Rev & Rt Hon. Justin Welby (b.1956), Archbishop of Canterbury.  As the Covid restrictions had been lifted, it was therefore possible for those members of the UK and European Royal Families unable to attend the funeral at St George's Chapel to attend this Service.  The congregation was led by The Queen - who was controversially accompanied by Prince Andrew, The Duke of York (b.1960).  She wore a shade of 'Edinburgh Green' as a tribute to Philip's official livery. 

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LEFT: Queen Elizabeth II

(far left) with members of

the Royal Family in

Westminster Abbey for

Prince Philip's

Memorial Service

BELOW: The Order of Service

for Prince Philip's Memorial Service at Westminster Abbey.

Click on the image below to download the Order of Serivce

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ABOVE: Penny, Countess Mountbatten of Burma attended Prince Philip's Memorial Service

at Westminster Abbey

LEFT: Queen Elizabeth II

at Prince Philip's

Memorial Service 

at Westminster Abbey

 

Other Royal members of the congregation included - Queen Margarethe II of Denmark (b.1940); King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden (b.1946), accompanied by Queen Silvia (b.1943); King Philippe, The King of the Belgians (b.1960), accompanied by Queen Mathilde (b.1973); King Felipe VI of Spain (b.1968), accompanied by Queen Letizia (b.1972); King Willelm-Alexander of The Netherlands (b.1967), accompanied by Queen Máxima (b.1971) and Princess Beatrix of The Netherlands (b.1938); Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg (b.1956); Prince Albert II of Monaco (b.1958).  Also present were representatives from politics, HM Armed Forces and the diplomatic corps from all the various Realms and The Commonwealth.

 

Members of the Mountbatten/Knatchbull Family who attended Prince Philip's Memorial Service included - George, 4th Marquess of Milford Haven, accompanied by The Marchioness; Lord Ivar Mountbatten & Mr James Coyle; Penny, Countess Mountbatten of Burma; Mr & Mrs Nicholas Knatchbull (Lord & Lady Brabourne); The Lady Alexandra Hooper & Mr Thomas Hooper; The Hon. Philip Knatchbull; The Hon. Mr & Mrs Timothy Knatchbull; Mr Ashley Hicks; Mr & Mrs David Flint Wood.

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