Philip’s mischievous quip to soldier at ceremony to hand Rifles role to Camilla

PA

The Duke of Edinburgh may rarely be seen in public these days but he showed he has lost none of his mischievous sense of humour when he joked with a soldier about his fitness levels.

Philip shared a chuckle with Lance Corporal Colin Streetin, 33, when he attended a Windsor Castle ceremony to formally hand over his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the infantry regiment The Rifles to the Duchess of Cornwall.

Philip has been closely associated with The Rifles and its earlier regiments for almost 70 years.

But the 99-year-old Queen's consort, who retired from public duties in 2017, has now handed over his role to Camilla.

The duchess took part in the second half of the ceremony almost 100 miles away, at her Highgrove home in Gloucestershire.

The Rifles' Colonel Commandant, General Sir Patrick Sanders, said: "We feel it's a bittersweet day because we're enormously proud of our association with the Duke of Edinburgh, who has been the most amazing Colonel-in-Chief, and we've really flourished under his tenure.

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"But it's also really special to have the Duchess of Cornwall coming in because she has a long association with The Rifles."

The sprightly duke carefully walked down the steps of Windsor Castle's Equerries' Entrance to meet four buglers from the Band and Bugles of The Rifles during the ceremony.

L/Cpl Streetin said afterwards that Philip quizzed him about his other roles when not playing the bugle and he highlighted his work as an assault pioneer, providing engineering support to frontline troops.

The soldier said he told the duke: "We're assault pioneers as well", and he replied "Oh, you're keeping up your fitness then?"

He added: "But he looked me up and down and I thought 'Are you trying to say I'm fat?' – that's what we were laughing about."