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On the 4th of May Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, announced that he would be retiring from his public royal duties in August.

Ever a joker, the 96 year old laughed that he was standing down because ‘he couldn’t stand up much longer’. Here, we look back at the Duke’s almost 70 year history of being ‘the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler’:

(Image: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock)

20 November 1947 marked a wedding that captured the world’s attention.
The wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten was broadcasted to 200 million radio listeners around the world with thousands gathered in front of Buckingham Palace in hopes of catching a glimpse of the newlyweds.

Princess Elizabeth wore a stunning duchesse satin gown encrusted with 10,000 pearls.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II first met at a wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, Duke of Kent and were reintroduced years later.

The pair began writing letters to each another which saw their romance blossom. In 1946, the couple secretly engaged but the formal announcement was delayed until Elizabeth turned 21.

(Image: National Film Board of Canada, 1952)

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh stands alongside the recently crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953 in Westminster Abbey.

8,251 guests attended the Coronation where Her Majesty became the 39th Sovereign to be crowned. More than 2,000 journalists and 500 photographers from 92 nations gathered on the Coronation route to catch a glimpse of the procession.

After his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip took to his royal public duties with zeal. Over the course of his life, he has been involved with 22,191 solo public engagements and given 5,493 speeches on just about every topic possible.

The Royal Tour of 1953/4 was the first time the reigning monarch had visited Australia and New Zealand, where the Queen and Prince Philip stayed for 40 days.

(Image: Archives New Zealand, 1954)

Prince Philip’s penchant for public gaffes garnered him a reputation as the larrikin of the Royal Family, always able to find humour in a situation.

The Australian public has always had a soft spot for the Royal couple, evidenced by the enormous crowds on their first Royal Tour in 1954, pictured here visiting Brisbane.

The Queensland Governor’s wife echoed the thoughts of the people when she described the Queen and Prince Philip as “just two young, natural and charming people” on their visit.

(Image: State Library of Queensland)

Prince Philip has visited Canada more than 20 times over the years, attending everything from centenary celebrations to the Olympics to a Vancouver Canucks game.

He is pictured here with the Queen at Rideau Hall prior to the opening of a Canadian Parliament ceremony in Ottawa.

(Image: Library and Archives Canada, 1957)

Even the “leader of the free world”, President John F. Kennedy, displayed due deference to the Royal Couple when he and his wife Jackie dined at Buckingham Palace in June 1961.

(Image: US Department of State)

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth wave to the crowds in Virginia while being escorted around Richmond by Governor Kaine in 2007.

(Image: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock)

In 2015 Queen Elizabeth II became Britain’s longest reigning monarch, and as ever Prince Philip was by her side to mark the occasion.

Pictured here is the Duke of Edinburgh in full military regalia during the Trooping the Colour ceremony to celebrate the Queen’s birthday.

(Image: Lorna Roberts / Shutterstock)

Prince Philip’s crowning achievement is the Duke of Edinburgh youth self-improvement programme for 14-25 year olds.

Prince Philip created the programme in 1956, and it has since expanded to 144 countries including Australia.

(Image: Jonny McGrady / Shutterstock, 2017)

This 2016 shot by famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz captures the enduring love between the Queen and Prince Philip.

The couple will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November 2017, a testament to the strength of a relationship that will always be in the public eye.

(Image: Annie Leibovitz)

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