WINDSOR, England (Reuters) – Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, made a rare public appearance on Wednesday to hand over his patronage of the Rifles to Prince Charles’s wife, Camilla, after 67 years of association with the infantry regiment.
A former naval officer renowned for his sometimes brusque manner and humor, Philip married Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became queen. He is now by far the longest-serving consort of any British monarch.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been colonel-in-chief of the Rifles since its formation in 2007 but his connection to the regiment stretches back to 1953 as he has served as colonel-in-chief of successive regiments which make up the Rifles.
In a ceremony at Windsor Castle, west of London, four buglers announced Philip’s arrival and then sounded the “No More Parades” call to mark his final ceremony as colonel-in-chief.
A sprightly Philip, wearing a suit and tie and at times smiling, chatted to soliders ahead of the ceremony.
At a parallel ceremony at Highgrove House, nearly 100 miles (160 km) away in western England, Rifles’ Colonel Commandant General Sir Patrick Sanders welcomed Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, as the new colonel-in-chief.
Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison
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