Queen Elizabeth Husband Officially Retires from Royal Duties at 96

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Britain’s monarch Queen Elizabeth II, has officially retired from royal duties after completing his final solo public engagement.

The 96-year-old Prince Philip, who has been the British Queen’s companion for 70 years, announced his upcoming retirement back in May.

He has completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, given 5,496 speeches, and been the patron, president, or member of 785 organizations.

In 2016, the duke carried out 110 days of engagements, making him the fifth busiest member of the British royal family, according to Court Circular listings.

In 1956, Prince Philip set up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards which has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations, becoming one of the UK’s best-known youth programs, with young people carrying out challenges to earn bronze, silver or gold awards.

A total of 4 million people have part in Duke of Edinburgh Awards so far.

‘Remarkable Lifetime of Service’

The UK’s Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, on Wednesday, met Royal Marines in his final solo public engagement before he retires from royal duties, the BBC reported.

As Captain General of the Royal Marines, the duke attended a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge – a series of strength and endurance challenges raising funds and awareness for charity.

Even though his diary of engagements will come to an end, Buckingham Palace has said the duke may still decide to attend certain events alongside Queen Elizabeth II, whose public schedule will continue as normal.

Prince Philip met Cpl Jamie Thompson, 31, who ran 1,664 miles over 100 days with Corporal Will Gingell, 33, as part of the challenge.

The duke also met Sgt Matt Burley, a physical training instructor, who swam 1,664 lengths underwater over 10 days, and Lt Col Aldeiy Alderson, who ran 100km (62 miles) in 12 hours wearing his Royal Marines uniform

After hearing about their exploits, he told the group of marines: “You all should be locked up.” The Duke of Edinburgh is known for off-the-cuff remarks he has made at royal engagements around the world over the years.

The duke was also handed the 1664 Global Challenge baton, before raising his hat and waving it to acknowledge three cheers in his honour.

Earlier, Lady Myra Butter, who has known Prince Philip since the age of eight or nine, told the BBC’s Radio 4 he was “very spirited, a young normal boy full of fun… we loved when he came to stay”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May took to Twitter to thank him for “a remarkable lifetime of service” adding that she hoped he “can now enjoy a well-earned retirement”.

On announcing his retirement earlier this year, the royal consort was praised for his years of service, with May offering the country’s “deepest gratitude and good wishes”.

Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wished him “all the best in his well-earned retirement”.