Apparently, he really doesn't like a fuss which is rather unfortunate because when Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh announced earlier this year that he would be retiring from public engagements there was a hooha on a global scale which will take some beating. The Royal 2017 arrives at one of the more bizarre happenings of the year as we look back at the day Prince Philip said he was stepping back...
To be fair to Philip, most of the fuss was completely beyond his control. In the last hours of May 3rd 2017, reports began to emerge of a special staff meeting being held at Buckingham Palace. Within moments, all kinds of rumours began to spread and thanks to the speed of social media, by the time Philip was getting up for his cornflakes on the morning of May 4th 2017 it had been decided in some parts that he was, in fact, dead with an official announcement just moments away. The world's media gathered at royal residences across the UK until, in the middle of the morning, it was announced that Philip was most definitely still alive but just stepping down from royal engagements.
His retirement led to an outpouring of good will and a chance to remember just how hard this prince has worked for the Royal Family he married into back in 1947. In that time he has carried out 22,219 engagements and made almost 6,000 speeches. Wishes of happiness and health came from around the world but Philip was having none of that sentimental nonsense, responding 'I can't stand up much longer' when a wellwisher said he was sorry to see him standing down. But even the bluffest prince with the toughest heart can get emosh. His final bow came at Buckingham Palace on August 2nd 2017 where he welcomed the Royal Marines back at the end of a gruelling challenge. It rained. Relentlessly. And as he tipped his hat and walked off stage to the strains of 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow' it was hard to tell through the rain whether the royal eyes had got a little misty.
Philip, who turned 96, has said he may still carry out engagements with the Queen from time to time and will take part in major royal events. In November, he stood on a balcony overlooking Whitehall to watch the Remembrance Day service and was at his wife's side for the Festival of Remembrance the night before. Philip's retirement changes the face of the Royal Family forever. The announcement is one of the big stories of the Royal 2017.