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Prince Philip Makes Final Solo Public Engagement

Britain's 96-year-old royal consort finally reached his big retirement day

Prince Philip retires from royal duties

Redux Pictures

Prince Philip has given 5,496 speeches.

For more than 65 years, he has been the unwavering presence alongside Britain's longest-serving monarch, the consummate consort and royal representative.

Prince Philip made his 22,219th — and final — solo public engagement Wednesday. He met with Royal Marines who have completed a 1,664-mile trek to raise money for charity.



The Duke of Edinburgh will still appear at Queen Elizabeth II's side — from time to time — as the 91-year-old monarch soldiers on. The man known for his quips and gaffes already has been joking about retirement.

"I'm discovering what it's like to be on your last legs," Philip said at a recent palace event. But the palace says his health wasn't behind the retirement decision.

Philip is patron, president or a member of over 780 organizations, with which he will continue to be associated. He simply will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.

He has had a long association with the military and had a once-promising military career. He married the future queen at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. He renounced his Greek title, and King George VI made him the Duke of Edinburgh. After her coronation in 1953, he settled into a life supporting Elizabeth in her role as queen, and they had four children.

Philip has given 5,496 speeches, written 14 books and gone on 637 solo visits overseas. He has championed environmental and conservation causes, and is an accomplished sportsman and pilot.

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