After 65 Years, Prince Philip Can Put His Feet Up

Queen's husband, at 96, is bowing out of public functions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 2, 2017 1:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – For more than 65 years, he has been the unwavering presence alongside Britain's longest-serving monarch, the consummate consort and royal representative. On Wednesday Prince Philip, 96, made his 22,219th—and final—solo public engagement, braving heavy rain to meet Royal Marines who have completed a 1,664-mile trek to raise money for charity, per the AP. Philip, known as 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. Philip announced he was stepping down from public duties in May. The royal, known for his quips and gaffes, recently joked about his big retirement day, telling celebrity chef Prue Leith: "I'm discovering what it's like to be on your last legs."

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Philip is patron, president, or a member of more than 780 organizations, with which he will continue to be associated—but he won't play an active role by attending engagements. The queen supported the decision. Philip has given 5,496 speeches, written 14 books, and gone on 637 solo visits overseas. He's championed environmental and conservation issues, and has interests in science, engineering, and industry. An accomplished sportsman, he played polo regularly until 1971. He earned his RAF wings in 1953, his helicopter wings in 1956, and his private pilot's license in 1959. All that activity has led to overall good health. But Philip has been admitted to the hospital on a number of occasions in the last few years for abdominal surgery, bladder infections, and a blocked coronary artery. (Read more Prince Philip stories.)

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