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The 96-year-old royal attended the parade at Buckingham Palace to mark the finale of the Royal Marines 1664 Global Challenge.

Prince Philip has carried out official royal duties alone or with the queen since she ascended to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952.

He has a keen interest in scientific and technological research, was an early champion of the conservation movement, and his youth scheme the Duke of Edinburgh's Award has extended across the world.

An incomplete article was published by the newspaper's website with the headline "HOLD HOLD HOLD Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh dies age XX". "I had to try to support the queen as best I could, without getting in the way". The paper quickly deleted the article, which contained such touching tributes as "Prince Philip, whom the Queen described as her "strength and stay" during her record-breaking reign, passed away XXXXXXX FILL IN DETAILS".

SLOWING DOWN Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (left) and Britain's Prince Philip (right), Duke of Edinburgh.

While his diary of engagements will come to an end, Buckingham Palace has said the Duke may still decide to attend certain events alongside the Queen in the future.

The prince's often politically incorrect sense of humor has got him into trouble in the past, although for numerous queen's subjects, it has also provided some welcome warmth into the institution of the monarchy.

Gruff in public - he hates media interviews - he is also widely credited for keeping his family together during the turmoil of his children's divorces and the death of Diana, princess of Wales.

Prince Philip, who has always been considered among the most active royals in the United Kingdom, has been married to Queen Elizabeth II since 1947.

Meanwhile, other members of the Royal Family will step up in support of the monarch as head of state.

The Queen and Prince Philip had already cut down on long-haul travel for some years now, with younger royals taking on those duties.