HRH The Duke of Edinburgh accompanies Mrs Thabo Mbeki in the procession
to the castle on the occasion of the State Visit of President Thabo Mbeki from South Africa in 2001
The news was announced today that HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is to retire from royal duties towards the end of this year. As he approaches the grand age of 96, this comes as no surprise. Indeed the real surprise is that he has committed to continuing these duties for so long.
His lighthearted approach to all his duties for the best part of 70 years is remarkable and has the ability to immediately put those around him at ease. He has worked throughout his life in support of HM Queen Elizabeth, and has always had the best interests of the UK and the Commonwealth at heart.
Sadly there are always those who criticise royalty generally and Prince Philip in particular, but there are few members of the royal family who have worked so hard for the benefit of so many here and overseas. We are therefore very grateful to him for his exceptional work and wish him well in his retirement.