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Philip to take part in rare official public engagement at Windsor Castle

The duke will mark the transfer of his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall.

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The Duke of Edinburgh (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Duke of Edinburgh (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Duke of Edinburgh (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Duke of Edinburgh is to take part in a rare official public engagement, as he transfers his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall.

But Philip, who retired in 2017, will be nearly 100 miles apart from his daughter-in-law Camilla as they both carry out ceremonies to mark the occasion on Wednesday.

Amid extreme social distancing, Philip, 99, will be at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, while the duchess will be at Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.

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The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding, will make a rare public appearance (Steve Parsons/PA)

The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding, will make a rare public appearance (Steve Parsons/PA)

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The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding, will make a rare public appearance (Steve Parsons/PA)

At Windsor, four Buglers of The Band and Bugles of The Rifles will sound The Rifles Assembly upon the duke’s arrival.

Assistant Colonel Commandant, Major General Tom Copinger-Symes, will offer the salute and thank Philip for his 67 years of support and service to The Rifles, and their forming and antecedent regiments.

The Buglers will then sound The Rifles Regimental Call, followed by the No More Parades call, to mark the duke’s final ceremony as Colonel-in-Chief.

Immediately afterwards, Camilla will be at her country home Highgrove in Gloucestershire, where four Buglers will sound The Rifles Assembly.

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The Duchess of Cornwall attending the medals parade of the 4th Battalion The Rifles (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Duchess of Cornwall attending the medals parade of the 4th Battalion The Rifles (Andrew Matthews/PA)

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The Duchess of Cornwall attending the medals parade of the 4th Battalion The Rifles (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The duchess will be addressed by The Rifles’ Colonel Commandant, General Sir Patrick Sanders, who will welcome her as the new colonel-in-Chief.

Camilla will also hear the Regimental Call and The Advance, and meet the Buglers and a small party from 4th Battalion The Rifles, before retiring for an audience with General Sir Patrick.

Philip was pictured with the Queen at Windsor to mark his 99th birthday in June, and at Princess Beatrice’s wedding on Friday.

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Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on their wedding day with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (Benjamin Wheeler/PA)

Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on their wedding day with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (Benjamin Wheeler/PA)

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Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on their wedding day with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (Benjamin Wheeler/PA)

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

The ceremony on Wednesday will be Philip’s first engagement in more than a year.

In June 2019, he held an audience when he received General Sir Nicholas Carter who was relinquishing his appointment as Colonel Commandant of The Rifles.

In May 2019, Philip also made a rare appearance at a royal engagement behind closed doors, joining the Queen and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough at a luncheon for Order of Merit members at Windsor.

The duke has held various private audiences over the years despite stepping down from royal duties nearly three years ago.

On August 2 2017, he carried out his final official engagement as he retired from public duties.

He strode with ease around the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in the pouring rain, meeting Royal Marines.

Philip also attended the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall and the Remembrance Sunday service in November 2017 three months later.

But he watched from the balcony at the Cenotaph and did not lay a wreath.

Camilla was appointed Royal Colonel of 4th Battalion The Rifles in 2007 and will continue to hold this position.

Philip’s links to The Rifles stretches back to 1953 when he was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of The Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh’s).

The Rifles formed in February 2007, following the merger of four infantry Regiments – The Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry; The Light Infantry; The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Light Infantry; and The Royal Green Jackets.

Forged during the campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan, they are now the largest infantry regiment in the British Army.

Their motto is “Swift and Bold”.

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