Duke of Edinburgh to retire from public engagements

  • The Duke of Edinburgh will step down from public engagements this autumn.

    Prince Philip, who turns 96 next month, has the “full support of The Queen”.

    The announcement was made by the royal communications team this morning (4 May).

    “Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen,” said the statement.

    “Thereafter, the Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.”

    The statement adds that the Duke of Edinburgh is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated but will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.

    Prince Philip’s involvement in the equestrian world goes back to childhood, with his earliest memory in the saddle dating from 1928, when he would ride along the Black Sea beaches with his cousin King Michael of Romania.

    He is currently president of Royal Windsor Horse Show and Scottish Horse Driving Trials.

    He is patron of the Northern Country Fair and Horse Show, Lowther Horse Driving Trials and Country Fair and the Canadian Cutting Horse Association.

    The Prince is also a member of British Carriage Driving and the British Horse Driving Trials Association, and an honorary member of the British Horse Society and the United States Equestrian Federation.

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    A skilled horseman, he was ranked one of the top eight British polo players of his time before retiring from the sport in 1970.

    In 1973 he began his competitive driving career and represented Britain at three European and six World championships. He continues to enjoy driving and was most recently spotted at the end of March driving a coach and four in Windsor.

    He was elected president of the FEI in 1964, a position he held for 22 years, before he was succeeded by his daughter Princess Anne.

    His many contributions to equestrian sport include co-writing the first FEI rules for driving and creating equine passports for international competitors.

    He also founded the ever popular Prince Philip Cup for mounted games in 1957, in which thousands of children continue to take part each year.

    The Queen will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements, with support of the Royal Family.

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