Prince Philip has presided over what is thought to be his last presentation reception for the Duke of Edinburgh Award – a scheme he founded 60 years ago.
According to The Royal Diary which lists future engagements each member of The Royal Family will attend, the 96-year-old Prince only has four more events to attend before his retirement.
In May, it was announced that the 96-year-old Prince would be retiring from public duty in the Autumn. As it is only the Summer, it is possible more last minute engagements could be announced.
However, Buckingham Palace said in May that he will not accept any new invitations for visits and engagements but will complete pre-scheduled visits that he has already committed to.
The reception on Thursday was held at the Palace of Holyroodhouse and recognised 350 young people who achieved a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Over six million people who have participated in the programmes since the Duke founded the Awards in 1956.
Following Prince Philip’s retirement, the Earl of Wessex will likely take over some of his father’s patronages – including the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Destined to be the future Duke of Edinburgh when his father passes, Prince Edward is already heavily involved in the awards scheme. He will most probably take over fully from Autumn.
The Earl has been an active participant in the awards programme since 1988 when he achieved his Gold Award. He regularly travels around the world to promote the awards in his capacity as a Trustee and Chairman of the International Awards.
He regularly travels the globe with his wife, the Countess of Wessex, presenting DoE Awards to proud recipients. Most recently he was in Bermuda.
The Countess os also heavily involved in the scheme, and last year completed a seven-day challenge in support of the DofE. She cycled 445 miles from the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace, a tour that she described as ”lovely experience”.
Prince Philip’s next scheduled engagement will take place on Wednesday 12th July when he and The Queen will greet King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain for their official State Visit. The two Monarchs will then proceed in carriages down The Mall to Buckingham Palace. It is unknown whether Prince Philip will attend the State Banquet in the evening, although it is likely.
On July 13th, as well as hosting the King and Queen of Spain, Prince Philip and The Queen will officially open the new headquarters of the Metropolitan Police.
The Queen and Prince Philip were originally scheduled to visit New Scotland Yard in March, however, the terror attack on Westminster Bridge resulted in the postponment of the engagement.
On July 18th, as Patron of the Royal Institute of Navigation, the 96-year-old will present awards at the Annual Meeting, at the Royal Geographical Society.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s last scheduled event in The Royal Diary, scheduled for July 19th, is a joint engagement with his wife of seventy years, Her Majesty The Queen.
They will attend a reception at Canada House in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.
It is possible more engagements will be added to this list, however, with no new invitations being accepted, it is possible Prince Philip could be officially retired by the end of the month.