Prince Philip typically rides in the carriage alongside Queen Elizabeth during the annual parade

Queen Elizabeth is usually joined by Prince Philip in the carriage during the Trooping the Colour parade — but on Saturday, she noticeably rode solo.

Though Philip, who turns 97 on Sunday, has also ridden on horseback in his younger days, he was absent entirely at the parade during this year’s official celebration of the Queen’s birthday. Philip officially retired from public life in August following 64 years of royal service.

“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.”

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Ceremony, St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, UK - 19 May 2018
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at the royal wedding on May 19.
| Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Unfortunately, Philip’s early months of retired life have been plagued with health issues.

In March, he pulled out of attending Prince Andrew’s appointment as the new Colonel of the Granadier Guards and abruptly cancelled his appearance at the traditional Maundy church service that he was scheduled to attend with Elizabeth. Days later, Philip also skipped Easter Sunday services and the palace then announced in April that he entered King Edward VII Hospital for hip replacement surgery.

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Philip stayed in the hospital for 10 days before returning to Windsor.

“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh left King Edward VII Hospital at midday today, following a hip replacement operation last week. The Duke will continue his recovery at Windsor,” the palace said in an April 13 statement. “His Royal Highness would like to convey his appreciation for the messages of good wishes he has received.”