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Prince Philip often shies away from the spotlight in recent times after retiring in 2017, spending much of his time painting, reading and taking horse and carriage rides. However recently we have seen a lot more of Philip, in official photographs to celebrate his birthday, in commemoration for VJ Day and in a rare engagement.
In July, Philip was seen for a rare engagement, rescinding his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles and handing it to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Philip was seen walking into the Windsor Castle quadrangle, smiling as he joked with those visiting.
Defying his age, Philip, 99, spritely walked up and down steps into the quadrangle to take part in the official ceremony.
The ceremony, which was only three minutes long, saw the Duke pass over his Colonel-in-Chief role to Camilla.
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The Duchess of Cornwall had taken part in a similar ceremony 100 miles away at Highgrove.
The Assistant Colonel Commandant, Major General Tom Copinger-Symes, gave the salute, telling him: “All Rifleman, whether serving or retired would like to thank you for for 67 years of continuous service, support and leadership to the Rifles and to our forming and antecedent regiments.
“And on this occasion, as you hand over your duties, as Colonel-in-Chief to her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, we would like to wish you fair wind and following seas.”
The Duke was given the title of Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles upon its formation in 2007.
Prince Philip stepped back from royal life in 2017, entering retirement after six decades of work for the Royal Family.
The Queen described her husband as her “strength and stay” and he began a quiet retirement on the Sandringham Estate.
Philip had undertaken a staggering 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, and even once quipped he was “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.
In November, the Queen and Prince Philip will have been married for a staggering 73 years, having married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey.
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Before Prince Philip married then Princess Elizabeth, he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject.
In order to do so, Philip then took his maternal grandparents surname, Mountbatten.
However, in a precedent which is said to have angered the Duke, Philip was not allowed to give his surname to his own children.
In 1952, the Queen declared the Royal Family’s chosen surname would be Windsor and not Mountbatten.
This reportedly infuriated Philip, and he is said to have shouted “I’m just a bloody amoeba”.
He is said to have stated he was the only man in the country not to have given his children his name.
However, eight years later, the rules were changed and the Queen announced her direct descendants who were not given the title of Prince or Princess would instead be given the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.
One such royal with this surname is Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry’s son Archie Harrison.
Archie does not hold an HRH title and is not a prince as he is too far down the line of succession from the monarch.
He could have been granted a title, and one touted title at the time of his birth was the Earl of Dumbarten, but Meghan and Harry decided not to give him one.
This may have foretold the couple’s step back from royal life, as since March this year they have not held senior royal roles.
Meghan and Harry are currently living in Santa Barbara, where they have recently bought a home together.
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