The news that Prince Philip would be retiring from his royal duties at the ripe old age of 95 was announced earlier this year, and since then, the world has been waiting to find out when the last time we’d see the Duke in an official capacity would be.
Buckingham Palace have now announced that the Duke of Edinburgh’s last official royal engagement will take place on 2nd August, when he accompanies the Queen to a Royal Marine’s charity parade.
And luckily, he won’t have to venture far from home for his last official engagement. The event will take place just outside the walls of Buckingham Palace – most likely on the Mall.
A palace spokeswoman revealed that the parade would “bring His Royal Highness’s individual programme to a conclusion”.
But it’s of course unlikely to be the last time we see Prince Philip out and about in a royal capacity. Given that his wife is still a full-time, working monarch, the palace spokeswoman also admitted that he “may choose to attend certain events, alongside the Queen, from time to time”.
The Duke’s final engagement is certainly a fitting one too, given his long history with the Royal Marines. The royal has been heavily involved with the organisation for decades, becoming the Captain-General – otherwise known as the Ceremonial head – in 1953. The Queen’s father, King George VI, preceded him in the role.
But now that the Prince is gearing up to wrap up his royal duties, what will he actually do following his retirement? Well, according to royal sources, one thing that is sure to change will be the amount of time he and the Queen spend at the official home of the British reigning monarch, Buckingham Palace.
It’s well known that both he and his wife don’t generally enjoy spending time there, so when he has retired, it’s thought that he’ll divide his time between their Sandringham home and Windsor Castle.
Chatting about his inevitable retirement six years ago, back in 2011, Prince Philip said, “I reckon I’ve done my bit, I want to enjoy myself for a bit now. With less responsibility, less rushing about, less preparation, less trying to think of something to say” – in his own classic, jokey way.
A royal aide also revealed that although he’s slowing down, he certainly won’t be spending retirement with his feet up. Instead he reportedly plans to take a more active role in his chosen organisations behind the scenes, rather than in front of the world’s press.
The aide told The Express, “Think of it as him being behind the scenes rather than on the scene in an active sense. He still wants to be hands on.”
The royal source continued to add, “He will still carry out official duties in private; be it sending correspondence, signing certificates or writing the forewords to books. He has a very small office that may be slimmed down further.”
Philip will still be sure to make time for his hobbies, too. Apparnetly, the Duke is a keen painter, and even designed the stained glass window at Windsor Castle. He also loves to read the daily papers and catch up on all the TV news, so it’s he won’t be staying away from current affairs too much.
A well deserved relax is definitely on the cards, we think!