The 96-year old Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip has bowed out of service to a rousing rendition of “For he’s a Jolly Good Fellow” played by the band of the Royal Marines. Although it rained on the day, it failed to dampen the enthusiastic crowd who gathered to watch Prince Phillip, himself wearing a raincoat and a Bowler hat.
Phillip who announced he was stepping down in May chose the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and a Royal Marines parade to stage his final solo act. As Captain General of the Royal Marines, he took the royal salute and inspected an honour guard to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge, a series of endurance feats by marines to raise awareness of and funds for the Royal Marines Charity.
Lady Myra Butter, who has known Prince Philip since childhood, told Radio 4’s Today:
I’m sure that he won’t disappear; he will be greatly missed by everybody. He’s been such a stable character in all our lives – he’s always there and he’s always been there for the Queen and I think we’re very, very lucky to have him.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May also congratulated the Duke on a well-deserved retirement:
As he carries out his final public engagement, I thank the Duke of Edinburgh for a remarkable lifetime of service. I hope the Duke, after 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, can now enjoy a well-earned retirement!