It was the end of an era for Prince Philip on Thursday.
The royal, who will retire from public duties in the fall, took part what is likely to be his last ceremony for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award — fittingly in the city that provided the name for his title, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Looking relaxed and happy after his recent hospitalization, he chatted to young winners at a garden party held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in the Scottish capital.
The awards, which are given to encourage adventuring, endeavor and community service among young people, have been a key part of his public life after he set them up in 1956. With his impending retirement from public duties, Philip, 96, has said that he won’t accept any new invitations from his patronages. But there is a chance he could take part in some ceremonies and official occasions, periodically, the palace said.
The Duke of Edinburgh Awards have seen an estimated six million young people take part in its Gold, Silver and Bronze programs. Philip’s daughter-in-law Sophie Wessex marked the anniversary last September with a bike ride through the U.K.
FROM PEN: What’s Next for Princess Charlotte
One of the award winners that he met at Holyroodhouse was Rachel Brutin, 18, who told reporters, “He’s an amazing man. It is quite poignant that this could be his last awards ceremony.”
The prince of one-liners also asked her if she got blisters on her feet while doing the expedition portion of the award!