London: Prince Philip continued to serve the Crown and the Queen despite his deteriorating health, a royal expert has said. Biographer Ingrid Seward claimed the Duke of Edinburgh remained in good shape throughout his 90s.
However, over the past decade, health issues have started to become more prominent and invalidating in his day-to-day life, she added.
The expert wrote in her book Prince Philip Revealed: “What he lacked in muscle power and vitality he made up for with sheer determination, cursing himself for his lack of dexterity, his aching joints, his arthritic hands and inability to hear.” However, this didn’t make him relinquish his royal role, Ms Seward noted.
She added: “He refused to give in and when he was still accompanying the Queen to church ceremonies, the order of service was usefully highlighted so he could see when to stand up or sit down.”
Among the health issues Ms Seward claims the Duke has started suffering from there are fading eyesight and increasing deafness.
Yet, the biographer claimed, the Duke of Edinburgh has continued for years to explore the extensive collection of book in Sandringham as well as draw paintings and listen to music, unwilling to miss out on these beloved hobbies.
What made it more difficult to carry out royal engagements was his increasing difficulties to get ready, Ms Seward said.
The author wrote: “His main irritation was the amount of time it took to prepare himself for the day and each official engagement took more and more self-discipline.
“If, for instance, he had to be somewhere at 10 am, it would mean he had to start preparing himself several hours beforehand.”
The Duke’s stubbornness and commitment to his role gave him the strength to carry on in his role.
The Queen and other family members eventually pushed for Prince Philip to step down from the public role he had covered since the early 1950s.
Ms Seward wrote: “With persuasion from his wife and members of his family, he eventually agreed it was time to step down, but even that took time.”
Upon the death of King George VI, Prince Philip gave up his career in the Navy, having reached the rank of commander, to serve the Crown alongside the new Queen.
The Duke of Edinburgh announced he would retire in May 2017. Three months later, on August 2 2017, Prince Philip carried out at Buckingham Palace his last solo engagement before officially stepping down as working royal.
Since joining the Royal Family by marriage in 1947, the Duke completed more than 22,000 solo engagements.
Over the past three years, the Duke has lived a more shielded life and has stopped taking part in key ceremonies such as the National Service of Remembrance or Trooping the Colour.
However, Prince Philip has retained many of his patronages and carried out a few royal engagements even after retirement.
This year alone, despite the lockdown, the Duke of Edinburgh was photographed in June to mark his 99th birthday.
He was also spotted at Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi’s wedding, standing next to the Queen while looking happily at the newlyweds.
In July, the Duke stepped out of Windsor Castle to meet a few members of The Rifles.
During the ceremony, the Duke passed on his rank of Colonel-in-Chief of this regiment to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Philip was also seen leaving Windsor in August to head to Scotland with the Queen for a six-week break at Balmoral.