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Datum objave: 03.08.2017

Prince Philip jokes with Marines as he carries out his 22,220th - and FINAL - official public engagement

August 2 2017 - Philip attends a Marines event - his 22,220th and last public event

Three cheers, a wave and he’s off - but not before making one last inappropriate remark: Prince Philip jokes with Marines as he carries out his 22,220th - and FINAL - official public engagement

Prince Philip made decision himself and will step back as he and Queen reach 70-year wedding anniversary

Final act was to wave to crowds as Marines gave three cheers and band played For He's a Jolly Good Fellow

The Duke of Edinburgh joked that the Royal Marines should be 'locked up' for their madcap fundraising efforts

He's now carried out 22,220 solo engagements, done 637 foreign visits and given 5,496 speeches since 1947

The Queen will continue public duties as she has always vowed to serve her country for as long as she lives

Philip's decision to step back from duties was fully supported by the Queen and was not related to his health

Prince Philip, 96, has retired from official royal engagements in his own inimitable style by joking with Royal Marines they should be 'locked up' for their madcap fundraising efforts.

As a former Royal Navy officer Philip's last public solo event, after more than 65 years championing his own causes and charities, fittingly featured men from the Royal Marines, an integral part of the Navy.

But from the demeanour of the Queen's Consort you would never have guessed he was retiring after carrying out 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

The Duke of Edinburgh waved warmly to the crowds, acknowledging their cheers and was described as 'chirpy' by a senior officer.

Wearing a bowler hat and rain coat the Duke did not let a heavy downpour affect his final day which was staged in Buckingham Palace's forecourt.

The event marked the end of the 1664 Global Challenge, which recognises 1664, the year the Royal Marines were founded, and has seen marines push themselves to the limit with a series of physical exploits in aid of the Royal Marines Charity.

The Duke, who is the Captain General of the Royal Marines, met Corporal Will Gingell, 33, and Corporal Jamie Thompson, 31, who have run 1,664 miles over 100 days.

He also chatted to Sergeant Matt Burley, a physical training instructor, who swam 1,664 lengths underwater over 10 days and Lieutenant Colonel Aldeiy Alderson, who ran 100 kilometres in 12 hours wearing his Royal Marines uniform and polished boots.

Looking at the group of marines he made them laugh with the quip: 'You all should be locked up.'

The Queen's Consort announced in May he would be retiring from royal engagements, a decision which was fully supported by the Queen and was not medically related.

Buckingham Palace has stressed, although the Duke's diary of engagements has come to an end, he may decide to attend certain events, alongside the Queen, from time to time.

The Queen's public schedule continues as normal but other members of the Royal Family will step up in support of the monarch in her role as head of state.

Philip remains in good health but is getting increasingly frail and understandably can have his energy sapped by the 200-or-so public appearances he makes every year on his own or with his wife the Queen, who will never retire because she considers it a job for life.

He has now carried out around 22,220 solo engagements, gone on 637 foreign trips and given 5,493 speeches since 1947.

But the Duke will now take a well-earned retirement with 'Team Windsor' - the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry - set to take on some of his workload.

Today in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, Philip celebrated the achievements of servicemen who have taken part in the 1664 Global Challenge, a series of strength and endurance feats raising funds and awareness for the Royal Marines Charity.

The Queen's Consort announced in May he would be retiring from royal engagements after more than 65 years supporting the monarch in her role as head of state and attending events for his own charities and organisations.

Philip, 96, was praised at the time for his public service with Prime Minister Theresa May leading the tributes saying he had given the Queen 'steadfast support', while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Duke's 'clear sense of public duty' had inspired people for more than 60 years.

Despite his age Philip's decision - which was fully supported by the Queen and was not medically related - came as a surprise as he still appeared to relish meeting people and carrying out his public role.

The Duke is known for his quips and over the past few months has been joking about his impending retirement, even telling celebrity cook Prue Leith at a recent Palace event 'I'm discovering what it's like to be on your last legs'.

His life-long friend and relative, Lady Myra Butter, 92, told the Mail previously: 'He always used to say, quite openly, I'm past my sell-by date'.

And The Duke of Edinburgh made himself and a crowd of guests roar on May 4, when he announced his own retirement, after mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah stopped him at a St James's Palace event to say: 'I'm sorry to hear you're standing down', to which he replied: 'Well I can't stand up much longer'.

Buckingham Palace has stressed although the Duke's diary of engagements will come to an end on Wednesday he may decide to attend certain events, alongside the Queen, from time to time.

The Queen's public schedule continues as normal but other members of the Royal Family will step up in support of the monarch in her role as head of state.

On Wednesday, in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace Philip, in his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines, attended a parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge.

His association with the Royal Marines dates back 64 years to June 2, 1953 when he was appointed Captain General in succession to the late King George VI.

The Global Challenge, which recognises the year 1664 when the Corps was founded, has seen Royal Marines all over the world raising money for the military unit's charity with a number of ingenious feats.

The 1,664 mile running challenge began in Plymouth on April 25 with Royal Marines running 16.64 miles a day for 100 days, with the gruelling trek due ending at Buckingham Palace today.

The Duke met some of the runners including two Royal Marines who have completed the entire distance.

The challenge, which recognises 1664, the year the Corps was founded, has seen Royal Marines all over the world fundraising, including Corporal Will Gingell, 33, and Corporal Jamie Thompson, 31, who have run 1,664 miles over 100 days.

Cpl Thompson, from Carlisle but based in Plymouth, whose epic marathon ended today, said: 'This is historic because this is the Duke's last royal engagement and we're a part of it, the Royal Marines are a part of it - so it's an absolute honour.'

Royal Marines from around the globe have also been taking part in extreme events including a 34-mile swim underwater and a company of Royal Marines lifting more than 20,000 tonnes and running 10,000 kilometres.

During the event Philip also met veterans and cadets before receiving the 1664 Global Challenge baton.

The parade ended with a march past, a royal salute and three cheers for the Captain General.

Over the years Philip has attended many Royal Marines events and in 2014, to mark the Corps' 350th anniversary, the Duke wore his full ceremonial uniform as Captain General to the state opening of parliament.

Lieutenant Colonel Gary Green, who devised the 1664 Global Challenge, said: 'It's an honour for the Armed Forces having the Duke of Edinburgh's last public engagement with the Corps and the Royal Navy - it's brilliant, we're delighted.'

He added: 'The Duke of Edinburgh is all about challenges, he's all about charity work and helping people and having somebody like the Duke as head of the Royal Marines, it just helps the Corps with our own challenges.

'With somebody who's head of the Corps, who's quite exceptional in what he does, it makes the Corps exceptional, it builds our Commando spirit and he's a wonderful figurehead for all Royal Marines to look up to.'

The Duke of Edinburgh has spent 52 days this year carrying out public engagements - more than the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Were Philip not standing down from official duties, he would be likely to end this year having clocked up some 90 days of public events, his lowest total in recent years.

Analysis by the Press Association has found that the number of days spent by the Duke on duties such as meeting the public and attending ceremonial occasions has declined over the past 15 years.

From 2002 to 2006, Philip spent an average of 139 days a year on engagements, compared with 121 days from 2012 to 2016.

Last year, the total was 110 - which was still higher than the number for his grandchildren William (80) and Harry (86) and for William's wife Kate (63).

Even in his final year of public service, the Duke has remained more active than the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who have spent 49, 45 and 39 days respectively on engagements.

The royals who have made the most public appearances so far this year have been the Princess Royal (111), Prince Charles (89) and the Duke of York (69).

Philip's quietest year in recent times came in 2013, when a two-week stint in hospital recovering from abdominal surgery allowed him to attend only 92 days of engagements. By contrast, he clocked up 149 days in the Queen's Golden Jubilee year of 2002, and 165 in her Diamond Jubilee year of 2012.

For the 92 days spanning May to July 2002, he appeared in public on a total of 67 days, including 15 in succession in June.

Although Philip was admitted to hospital in August 2012 with a recurrent bladder infection, he still managed 165 days of public engagements during the year.

This means he spent the equivalent of nearly every other day touring the country to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Timeline: The life and times of the Duke of Edinburgh

June 10 1921 - Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark is born to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg in the family home, Mon Repos, on Corfu. He is the youngest of five children.

July 1939 - A young Princess Elizabeth falls in love with Philip when he escorts her and her sister Princess Margaret during a tour of the college.

1946 - Philip returns to the UK, spending time at naval training schools. He asks George VI for Princess Elizabeth's hand in marriage.

July 9 1947 - The engagement of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten to Princess Elizabeth is announced.

November 20 1947 - Philip marries Princess Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey. He is made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich shortly before his wedding.

October 1948 - The Duke attends the Royal Naval Staff College at Greenwich.

November 14 1948 - The Duke becomes a father when Princess Elizabeth gives birth to their first child - a son and future king - Prince Charles.

1949 - Philip is appointed First Lieutenant and second-in-command of HMS Chequers, operating from Malta with the Mediterranean fleet.

1950 - He is promoted to Lieutenant-Commander and then appointed in command of the frigate HMS Magpie in Malta.

October 21 1950 - Philip and Elizabeth's second child, Princess Anne, is born.

1951 - The Duke and Princess Elizabeth return home from Malta to Clarence House. Philip leaves the Navy prematurely because of the deteriorating health of King George VI and Princess Elizabeth is required to take on more royal responsibilities.

1951 - Princess Elizabeth and Philip make their first major tour together to Canada and the United States in October and November 1951, after which the Duke is made a Privy Counsellor.

February 6 1952 - George VI dies and Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen while in Kenya on a Commonwealth tour.

June 2 1953 - The Queen's Coronation at Westminster Abbey. The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be his wife's 'liege man of life and limb' and was the first layman to pay tender homage to the newly crowned monarch.

1956 - The Duke launches the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. The Duke tours the Commonwealth on the royal yacht Britannia, without the Queen.

February 1957 - The Queen gives the Duke the style and title of a Prince of the United Kingdom.

February 1960 - Prince Andrew is born.

1961 - The Duke becomes the first President of the World Wildlife Fund-UK, becoming its international president in 1981. But his shooting of a tiger while in India sparks criticism.

1964 - Prince Edward is born.

1971 - Duke gives up polo, but goes on to take up carriage driving.

1977 - The Queen's Silver Jubilee - 25 years on the throne.

1981 - Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer.

1982 - Prince William - a future king - is born and Prince Andrew comes back safely from the Falklands War.

1984 - Prince Harry is born.

1986 - The Duke makes a remark about 'slitty eyes' on a state visit to China. The Queen celebrates her 60th birthday.

1986 - Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson.

1992 - The Queen's 'annus horribilis' - The Princess Royal and Captain Phillips divorce, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York separate and Windsor Castle is hit by a fire.

1993 - The Queen starts to pay income tax to the Government.

1996 - The Prince of Wales divorces Diana, Princess of Wales. The Duke and Duchess of York divorce.

August 31 1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales dies in a car crash.

November 20 1997 - The Queen and the Duke's Golden Wedding anniversary.

April 1999 - A busy and demanding schedule did take its toll sometimes. While accompanying the Queen on a state visit to South Korea, Philip falls asleep at a banquet.

2000 - A new millennium and the Queen Mother's 100th year.

2002 - The Queen's Golden Jubilee - 50 years on the throne. The Queen's younger sister Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother die.

2002 - Philip asks an Aborigine if they still throw spears at each other during a tour of Australia.

2005 - The Prince of Wales marries Camilla Parker Bowles.

2007 - The Queen and the Duke celebrate their Diamond Wedding anniversary.

April 2008 - The Duke is admitted to hospital with a chest infection that forces him to cancel a number of engagements. He spends three nights in the private King Edward VII's Hospital.

2009 - The Duke becomes the longest serving royal consort in British history, overtaking Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

2010 - Buckingham Palace announces Philip will step down as patron or president of more than a dozen organisations when he turns 90.

December 2010 - The Duke becomes a great-grandfather for the first time with the arrival of Peter and Autumn Phillips's daughter Savannah.

April 2011 - Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. The Queen visits Ireland.

June 2011 - The Duke celebrates his 90th birthday. The Queen gives him a new title - Lord High Admiral, titular head of the Royal Navy.

Christmas 2011 - The Duke is rushed to hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains. He spends four nights in hospital including Christmas Day and is treated for a blocked coronary artery at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

2012 - The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Duke is forced to miss the majority of the celebrations when he falls ill with a bladder infection.

August 2012 - Philip is treated for a bladder infection once again and spends five nights in hospital in Aberdeen, missing the opening of the Paralympic Games.

June 2013 - Two days after the service to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation, he is hospitalised for an operation on his abdomen and spends two months recuperating.

July 2013 - The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's son Prince George is born - third in line to the throne, a future king and the Duke's great-grandson.

May 2015 - Philip and the Queen's great-granddaughter Princess Charlotte of Cambridge is born.

September 2015 - The Queen becomes the longest reigning monarch in British history.

April 2016 - The Queen celebrates her 90th birthday.

June 2016 - Philip turns 95 - his birthday coincides with a weekend of festivities for the Queen's official 90th birthday.

October 2016 - The Queen becomes the longest reigning still serving monarch in the world after the death of the Thai king.

February 2017 - The Queen reaches her Sapphire Jubilee - 65 years on the throne.

May 4 2017 - Buckingham Palace announces that Philip is to step down from public duties.

August 2 2017 -  Philip attends a Marines event - his 22,220th and last public event

Seventy years and 22,191 engagements: How Prince Philip has been the Queen's 'rock' since their fairytale wedding, becoming one of the hardest working royals well into his 90s

The Duke of Edinburgh has been the Queen's steadfast companion for nearly 70 years.

Known for his no-nonsense approach and acerbic wit, Prince Philip is the longest-serving consort in British history and also the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch.

The husband of one of the most famous women in the world, he is defined by his relationship to Elizabeth II and gave up a promising naval career to support his wife in her royal role.

While the Queen takes centre stage, Philip has always been one step behind, ready to lend a hand.

The Duke has had a profound effect on the development of the British monarchy and has been a moderniser of 'the Firm'.

As Prince Philip retires aged 96, his wife the Queen will still work full time aged 91 because hers is a 'job for life'

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