The Duke of Edinburgh led a life of service to both Queen and country. 

In May 2017, a few weeks before his 96th birthday the Duke of Edinburgh announced he would be standing down from undertaking royal duties.

This brought an end to 70 years of service to the Queen and country, which saw the Duke undertake over 22,000 solo public engagements since 1952.

The then prime minister Theresa May thanked the Duke for “a remarkable lifetime of service”.

His final official duty took place on August 2, 2017, 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 for charity.

Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles

Last summer, the Prince made a rare public appearance for a military ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Stourbridge News:

The Prince's life in retirement.(PA)

Philip handed the keys of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles, a role he had held for 70 years to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The ceremony was reimagined to allow for social distancing, with Prince Philip officially handing over the position at Windsor Castle, some 85 miles from where the Duchess later took up the duty in a ceremony at Highgrove House.

Remaining in the background

The duke had intimated a desire to step back from public life in 2011, just ahead of his 90th birthday but took a further six years before the final decision was taken.

Since bowing out of public life Prince Philip has remained in the background.

While he attended the 2017 Cenotaph service and Sandringham Christmas service, in subsequent years he decided not to play a public role in either event.

In 2018 Philip spent more than a week in hospital following a hip replacement operation.

Watching his grandchildren get married

A month after the hip operation the Duke of Edinburgh was well enough to attend the wedding of his grandson Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the future duke and duchess of Sussex.

Later that year, in October 2018, Philip joined his family for the second royal wedding of the year when his granddaughter Princess Eugenie was betrothed to Jack Brooksbank in a ceremony which took place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Surrendering driving license

In February 2019 the 97-year-old prince voluntarily surrendered his driving licence following a car accident he was involved in a few weeks earlier on a main road near Sandringham.

Stourbridge News:

He continued to drive until the age of 97 (PA)

The Range Rover being driven by the Prince overturned following a collision with a Kia.

A Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon. The duke was not injured. The accident took place close to the Sandringham estate. Local police attended the scene.”

Showing support to frontline workers

Throughout his retirement public announcements by the Prince have been rare, but Philip, who throughout the pandemic self-isolated at Windsor Castle with the Queen, was moved to show his support for those frontline workers battling with the coronavirus pandemic.

In his statement he said: “As we approach World Immunisation Week, I wanted to recognise the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic; by those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from Covid-19.

“On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working on food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected.”

Praising teachers and school staff during the pandemic

In a second statement the Prince praised teachers and school staff. “I commend all teachers and school staff for your professional and resolute commitment throughout the past year to teaching our children and young people in the most challenging conditions.

“I commend all teachers and school staff for your professional and resolute commitment throughout the past year to teaching our children and young people in the most challenging conditions.”