Hats off to Prince Philip!
After announcing his plans to retire in May, the royal, who turned 96 in June, attended his last official royal engagement on Wednesday at a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge at Buckingham Palace.
“The Duke of Edinburgh will no longer undertake his own program of public engagements,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read. “The Captain General’s Parade will bring His Royal Highness’s individual program to a conclusion, although he may choose to attend certain events, alongside The Queen, from time to time.”
Philip’s ties with the Royal Marines dates back 64 years upon his appointment as Captain General in succession to Queen Elizabeth’s late father, King George VI.
The 1664 Global Challenge raises funds and awareness for The Royal Marines Charity, marking the symbolic significance of 1664 as the year in which the Corps was founded. This year, the challenge will see Royal Marines from around the country running 16.64 miles each day for 100 days, totaling a distance of 1664 miles.
During the rainy event, Philip met with representatives from organization, including including two Royal Marines who have completed the entire 1664 miles. He also met with veterans and cadets before receiving the 1664 Global Challenge baton.
The event concluded with a march past, a royal salute and three cheers for Prince Philip.
During an event in May, Philip made light of the news of his impending retirement.
As he met well wishers at St. James’s Palace, one guest said, “I’m sorry to hear you’re standing down.”
Quick as a flash, Philip came back with, “Well I can’t stand up much longer.”
Prince Philip, who was born into the Greek and Danish royal families, wed Queen Elizabeth II – now 91 – in November 1947 after a five-month engagement. Elizabeth became monarch less than five years later after her father, King George VI, died.
Over the past seven decades, he has carried out royal duties on behalf of over 780 organizations.
The royal was hospitalized for an infection stemming from a “pre-existing condition” for two nights in June. According to the palace, Prince Philip has had the full support of the Queen in his decision to retire.