Philip to retire after Marines' parade next Wednesday

The Duke of Edinburgh will retire next weekThe Duke of Edinburgh will retire next week
The Duke of Edinburgh will retire next week
THE DUKE of Edinburgh has chosen an event next Wednesday as the last he will attend before stepping back from public life, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Prince Philip, who is 96, had said previously that he would retire from official duties in the autumn, restricting future appearances to just a few, hand-picked occasions.

The announcement that his swansong would be as soon as August 2, at a charity parade by the Royal Marines, caught some royal watchers by surprise.

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But it will be a fitting occasion. The Duke has been Captain General of the Marines since 1953 and the parade will mark the end of its 1664 Global Challenge, named after the year it became a maritime regiment.

Philip has spent 51 days so far this year carrying out public engagements - more than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Queen.

His appearances with his wife since January have ranged from feeding an elephant at Whipsnade Zoo to officially opening the Metropolitan Police headquarters.

His solo engagements included opening the new Warner Stand at Lord’s Cricket Ground and having dinner at the palace with the actor, Tom Cruise.

The Queen has spent 49 days carrying out public engagements this year, William 43 days and Kate 37.