Duke of Edinburgh retires: Prince Philip jokes Marines should be locked up for fundraising as he bows out of public life

He was inspecting an honour guard outside Buckingham Palace as his final solo engagement

Kenza Bryan
Thursday 03 August 2017 09:40
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Prince Philip completes final solo royal engagement

Prince Philip has retired from 65 years of royal engagements with a trademark quip that Royal Marines should be “locked up” for their fundraising efforts.

He was meeting troops who have just taken part in a gargantuan 1,664-mile trek.

The finale of the 1664 Global Challenge, which recognises the year the Royal Marines were founded, was held in Buckingham Palace’s forecourt on Wednesday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who is Captain General of the Royal Marines, met two Corporals who have run 1,664 miles over 100 days.

He also chatted to Lieutenant Colonel Aldeiy Alderson, who ran 100 kilometres in 12 hours wearing his Royal Marines uniform and polished boots.

“You should all be locked up", the Duke joked.

Inspecting marines at the Captain’s General Parade, he raised his bowler hat and gave a wave under a heavy downpour.

The Plymouth Band of the Royal Marines played For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow as he went back into Buckingham Palace in his official capacity for the last time.

At 96, the prince is the longest serving consort in British history.

His appearance at the event was described by a senior officer as “chirpy”.

His numerous gaffes during 65 years of supporting the Queen made his final comments more characteristic than controversial.

The Duke once described Beijing as "ghastly" during a 1986 tour of China, and told the Scottish Women’s Institute that “British women can’t cook” in 1961.

Prince Philip announced he was retiring from public life in May, after carrying out 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.

When mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah told him he was sorry to hear he was standing down, he retorted: “Well I can’t stand up much longer.”

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