Prince Philip has been a well-known character for many decades, not least for his numerous gaffes. For example, he once told the President of Nigeria that he looked like someone who was ready to go to bed while the President was wearing his national dress.
The truth is that despite his many remarks through the years, the Duke of Edinburgh has been greatly missed since he retired from public life last year at the age of 96, after having conducted 22,219 official solo engagements since 1952, when his wife became the monarch of the United Kingdom.
But being a 97-year-old and retired doesn’t mean that The Queen’s consort is putting his feet up and having some quiet time. Quite the contrary, even after having hip replacement surgery earlier this year, the Duke was seen roughly a month later walking unaided at his grandson’s wedding, and he continues to drive horse carriages.
It is true, however, that he has missed significant public occasions, such as this year’s Trooping the Colour and the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting that took place in London, but he continues as busy as he’s always been. Prince Philip has, for many decades, been responsible for the running of the Royal Family’s private estates. The Balmoral and Sandringham estates are private possessions of The Queen as an individual and as busy as Her Majesty is, surely having the Duke’s support through the years has been of great importance for her.
Indeed, at the time of the The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s golden wedding anniversary, Her Majesty praised His Royal Highness by saying, “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
And there is no doubt that being as active as Prince Philip is at the age of 97 must be a great source of encouragement for The Queen, who continues to work full-time at the age of 92.