Prince Phillip in rare official public engagement at Windsor Castle

  • Watch a report by Richard Slee

The Duke of Edinburgh has briefly stepped out of retirement for a military ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Prince Philip retired from official royal duties in 2017. Now, at the age of 99, he made a rare public appearance at an official public engagement.

The occasion was the transferral of Prince Phillip's role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to his daughter-in-law Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. The pair were socially distanced since the Duchess, was almost a hundred miles away at her home, Highgrove House in Gloucestershire. 

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall is made the new Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles

Prince Phillip has been closely associated with The Rifles and its earlier regiments for almost 70 years. His links to the Rifles stretches back to 1953 when he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the Wiltshire Regiment. 

It was the year after he stopped serving so that he could fully support our new Queen, his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.

After the ceremony, Prince Phillip took the time to speak to members of the military unit including one bugler from Winchester.

I managed to have a few words but, I sort of introduced him more to the guys. Prince Phillip was on excellent form as he usually is at these sorts of occasions and it’s great to see a guy who has been doing it as long as he has, bring his game to the forefront, 100 percent. It was a great privilege to speak to him and experience that wit at first hand. Brilliant.

Meanwhile, in Gloucestershire, Sir Patrick Sanders welcomed the Duchess to her new role.

It is a bittersweet day because we are enormously proud of our association with the Duke of Edinburgh. He has been the most amazing Colonel-in-Chief. We have really flourished under his tenure but it’s also really specially to have the Duchess of Cornwall coming in. She has got a long association with the rifles.

She has been Royal Colonel of 4th Battlion The Rifles and has been absolutely inspiring in the support she has given.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, The Rifles Colonel Commandant