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Prince Philip, 96, Makes Final Solo Public Engagement

Philip has given 5,496 speeches, written 14 books and gone on 637 solo visits overseas.

He’s championed environmental and conservation issues, and has interests in science, engineering and industry. An accomplished sportsman, he played polo regularly until 1971. He earned his RAF wings in 1953, his helicopter wings in 1956 and his private pilot’s license in 1959.

All that activity has led to overall good health. But Philip has been admitted to the hospital on a number of occasions in the last few years for abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery.

Many of his health issues are related to sports. He has arthritis in his right wrist and broke a bone in his ankle from playing polo. He developed a rheumatic condition of the tendon in the hand after a taking a fall in polo.

He takes the stairs rather than elevators and can still fit into the uniform he wore for his wedding. He was only seen wearing hearing aids for the first time at a palace reception in 2014 at the age of 93.

The palace says his health wasn’t behind the retirement decision.

Philip, who enjoys a slightly wicked turn of phrase, has poked fun at himself and his advancing years. In a letter to The Oldie magazine in 2011, he said he appreciated being named “Consort of the Year.”

“There is nothing like it for morale to be reminded that the years are passing — ever more quickly — and that bits are beginning to drop off the ancient frame,” he wrote. “But it is nice to be remembered at all.”

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Prince Philip, 96, Makes Final Solo Public Engagement