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Prince Philip gives first interview since announcing retirement

Prince Philip granted his first interview since announcing last week that he would be retiring from public duties in the fall.

Speaking to Misdee Wrigley Miller, an American contestant who is participating in the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Prince Philip talked about carriage driving and how he came to take part in the sport.

“I started driving because I’d been playing polo, and I’d decided I’d give up polo when I was 50,” the Prince says in the video clip.

“I was looking around to see what next. I didn’t know what there was available. And I suddenly thought, well, we’ve got horses and carriages, so I thought why don’t I have a go.”

Prince Philip started carriage driving in 1971 and learned as much as he could about the sport. He even helped to draft a rule book, which was published under his supervision.

The Prince told Miller that his second carriage driving competition, after learning the sport, was the European Championships.

“I came in not quite last, but very nearly,” he said.

“Oh, it was great fun, yes – we went all over the place,” he said, talking about competing with the team. “I went to Hungary twice, to Poland, the Netherlands – it was very entertaining.”

Carriage racing is a form of equestrian where the driver sits in a carriage drawn by either a single horse, a pair or four horses.

“…I borrowed four horses from the stables and took them to Norfolk and practised,” Prince Philip said.

He also revealed his favourite parts of individual carriage driving competition.

“They were all fun. I mean – it so happened, I don’t know why – but I always did rather well at dressage. I didn’t manage the obstacles very well.”

The Palace announced last week that Prince Philip would retire from public duties in the fall after 70 years of service to The Queen and Commonwealth.

About author

Jess is a communications professional and freelance writer who lives in Halifax and has a passion for all things royal, particularly the British Royal Family.