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Philip in public appearance to hand military role to Camilla

The Duke of Edinburgh has been closely associated with The Rifles and its earlier regiments for almost 70 decades.

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The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle during a ceremony for the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles from the Duke to the Duchess of Cornwall

The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle during a ceremony for the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles from the Duke to the Duchess of Cornwall

The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle during a ceremony for the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles from the Duke to the Duchess of Cornwall

The Duke of Edinburgh has made a rare public appearance to carry out a unique ceremony – handing over a military role to the Duchess of Cornwall.

For almost 70 decades Philip has been closely associated with The Rifles and its earlier regiments, acting as Colonel-in-Chief of the infantry unit.

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The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle

The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle

PA

The Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle

But the 99-year-old Queen’s consort, who retired from public duties in 2017, has now handed over his role to Camilla – while she was almost 100 miles away at her Highgrove home in Gloucestershire.

She accepted the honour during the second half of the ceremony.

At Windsor Castle, four buglers from the Band and Bugles of The Rifles were standing to attention when the duke – who served as a Royal Navy officer during the Second World War – arrived on the steps of the Equerries’ Entrance.

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The Duke of Edinburgh speaks to a bugler at Windsor Castle

The Duke of Edinburgh speaks to a bugler at Windsor Castle

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The Duke of Edinburgh speaks to a bugler at Windsor Castle

Philip stood ram-rod straight and listened as he was thanked for his 67 years of support for The Rifles, and their forming and antecedent regiments, by Assistant Colonel Commandant Major General Tom Copinger-Symes.

The duke had been Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles since its formation in 2007, but his connection stretches back further, as he has served in the same role since 1953 with successive regiments which now make up The Rifles.

Philip was last seen at a big event when he was a guest at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding in May 2019.

PA