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The Duke of Edinburgh is set to meet the Royal Marines who have completed the 1664 challenge today- his final official royal event before he retires from public engagements.

The event will take place in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, where Philip will celebrate the achievements of serviceman who have taken part in the series of strength and endurance feats.

The 1664 Global Challenge raises money and awareness for the Royal Marines Charity, and is named after the year in which the corps was founded.

The announcement that the Queen’s consort would be retiring from official public engagements after more than 65 years came in May.

Philip, 96, was praised at the time for his public service, with Prime Minister Theresa May leading the tributes saying he had given the Queen "steadfast support”.

The Duke is known for sense of humour, and over the past few months has been joking about his impending retirement.

He even told celebrity cook Prue Leith at a Palace event "I’m discovering what it’s like to be on your last legs".

Buckingham Palace has stressed although the Duke’s diary of engagements will come to an end on Wednesday he may decide to attend certain events, alongside the Queen, from time to time.

The Queen’s public schedule continues as normal, with support from other members of the royal family.

Philip’s association with the Royal Marines dates back 64 years to June 2, 1953 when he was appointed Captain General in succession to the late King George VI.

Philip will be greeting marines in the wake of their 1,664 mile running challenge, which began in Plymouth on April 25.

The Royal Marines running 16.64 miles a day for 100 days. The Duke will meet some of the runners including two Royal Marines who have completed the entire distance.

Royal Marines from around the globe have also been taking part in extreme events.

These include a 34-mile underwater swim and a company of Royal Marines lifting more than 20,000 tonnes and running 10,000 kilometres.

During the event Philip will also meet veterans and cadets before receiving the 1664 Global Challenge baton.

The parade will end with a march past, a royal salute and three cheers for the Captain General.

Reported by Forces.net

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