Prince Philip Will Carry a Rare Public Engagement to Hand Over a Key Role

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

For the first time since retiring from royal duties in August 2017, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 99 last June 10, will make a very rare public appearance as he carries an official engagement.

The Prince Consort will hand over his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to the Prince of Wales's wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on July 22, 2020.

The Duke in his military uniform

Unlike most hand-over ceremonies of official roles where two personalities are both in the same place, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Cornwall will be in a separate place due to government guidelines of social distancing.

The ceremonies will take place across two homes, Windsor Castle - where Prince Philip currently lived with the Queen since March - and Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire where Camilla is staying with the Prince of Wales.

The turn over ceremonies

The ceremony of hand-over will start with the arrival of Prince Philip to the sound of four buglers. The Assistant Colonel Commandant, Major General Tom Copinger-Symes, will salute him and thank him for his 67 years of service in The Rifles, and their antecedent Regiments.

The ceremony will continue at Highgrove House with the Duchess of Cornwall arrival which would be marked by four Buglers of The Band and Bugles of The Rifles sounding The Rifles Assembly.

According to a Palace statement, "To conclude the ceremony, the Buglers will sound The Rifles Regimental Call and The Advance, following which Her Royal Highness will meet the Buglers and a small party from 4th Battalion before retiring for an audience with General Sir Patrick Sanders".

The Rifles

Prince Philip has been Colonel-in-Chief of the regiments that make up the current form of The Rifles of the British Army. A role he took since 1953.

The current form of The Rifles merged four famous British army regiments meant to revolutionize battalions in warfare.

The merging began in 2007, with the Duchess of Cornwall taking a role of its Royal Colonel, at the height of its military campaigns in Irag and Afghanistan. 

Details of The Rifles can be read HERE

Prince Philip's devotion to Royal Duties

The Duke of Edinburgh is the longest living Prince Consort in British history. He has been performing public duties since the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, giving up his thriving naval career to take the role of a Prince Consort full time.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
At the opening of Parliament

In August 2017, two months after he turned 96, and after completing more than 22,000 solo public engagement, Prince Philip retired from public duties, turning over most of his military key roles to grandson, Prince Harry. 

Since then he was not seen taking part in any ceremonial appearances with the Queen and chose to live in Wood Farm in Sandringham estate. 

He would join his wife in public only for royal family events like the wedding of Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie in 2018, Lady Gabriella Windsor in 2019, and last July 17 at the private wedding of another granddaughter, Princess Beatrice.

At Princess Beatrice's wedding

However, during lockdown, he released a rare public statement, thanking health front liners for their important role in fighting the deadly coronavirus.

He joined the Queen isolating in Windsor Castle since London was placed in lockdown last March. The couple will then move to Balmoral Castle, their summer residence, toward the end of this month.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

According to royal sources, the lockdown period is the longest period in their married life where the Queen and Prince Philip spent almost every second of the day in private.

Engagement photo, 1947
Birthday photo, 2020

In the past decades, royal duties made them preoccupied in a day, taking engagement separately to different locations and would only join together on weekends or family holidays.

During lockdown, the couple, who were both home quarantining at Windsor Castle, spent time everyday and every meal, making them closer than ever. And they have been married for almost 73 years! 

What a marriage milestone! ❤️💗👑

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