With the announcement that The Duke of Edinburgh is retiring from royal duties this autumn, Staffordshire reflects on his years of public service and many visits to the county.
The Duke is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations, some of which are in Staffordshire. While he will continue to be associated with them, he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements according to Buckingham Palace.
The duke, who turns 96 next month, has made many trips to Staffordshire alongside the Queen. These include visits to Lichfield Cathedral, St Mary’s Church and County Buildings in Stafford, the i54 South Staffordshire Business Park and more recently to the National Memorial Arboretum.
Mr Ian Dudson, CBE KStJ, Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire said:
“We have welcomed The Duke to the county on many wonderful occasions and I had the great pleasure of meeting him myself most recently when he visited the National Memorial Arboretum in November. Here, accompanied by the Queen they unveiled the Guinea Pig Club memorial, and paid tribute to soldiers who lost their lives during the nation’s wars.
“It is overwhelming to think of the extent of public service that he has given to the country and Staffordshire, and the pleasure he has personally brought to this County during his visits. We are very proud of our long association with the Duke and his lifetime of devoted public service. I’m sure people will join me in sending him our very best wishes on his retirement.”
The duke carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, according to Court Circular listings.
According to Buckingham Palace, the Queen “will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements’