Prince Philip, 99, retired from royal life in 2017 and has rarely attended official royal engagements since. The Duke of Edinburgh has kept a low profile since last Christmas Eve when he was snapped leaving hospital in London after receiving treatment for a pre-existing health condition. While Philip has been plagued by rumours of health fears in recent months, the sprightly Duke’s latest appearance has helped to qualm these, according to a body language analyst.
The Duke of Edinburgh stepped out in the quadrangle at Windsor Castle for a very important ceremony on Wednesday.
The engagement saw Prince Philip hand over one of his treasured military roles to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Despite retiring at the age of 96, the Duke of Edinburgh has held onto to several ceremonial posts with the armed forces.
Wednesday marked his retirement from his post as Colonel-In-Chief of The Rifles which he passed on to Camilla.
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During the engagement, which was watched closely by royal fans, Prince Philip seemed in good health as he walked down the steps at Windsor unaided.
The Duke seemed in high spirits as he thanked members of The Band and Bugles who marked the start of the ceremony.
Philip even managed an energetic salute for which he stood straight and to attention.
A body language expert analysed footage and photos from the event for Express.co.uk and shared her conclusions.
Body language analyst and author Judi James told Express.co.uk: “The word ‘energetic’ looks designed to define Prince Philip’s body language as he emerged beaming and upright on his first formal outing in a long time today.”
While Judi pointed out Philip seemed a little “unsteady” on his feet to start, she claims his body language indicated his wish to show the world “I’m back!”
Judi said: “His slightly unsteady-looking gait as he took his initial few steps into view might have suggested he’d succumbed to the ageing process.
“And the way he stepped forward and leant his head out when addressed by the guard might have hinted at some natural hearing loss, but there was a high salute of victory to the outside world, with one hand raised as though to say ‘I’m back!’ and a wide, delighted smile to endorse it.”
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According to Judi, the Duke’s upright stance was that of “a much younger man.”
The body language analyst added: “He snapped to attention, standing as upright as a much younger man, and despite a subtle grimace of his mouth, he soon adopted his signature pose of the behind the back handclasp.”
Judi said Philip’s wide smile and “twinkle in his eye” may have “astounded” those who feared for his health.
She added: “Philip’s grin told us he was delighted to be making this rare appearance and there was a twinkle in his eye that hinted he knew he was astounding people who had expected the worst about his condition now he has retired from royal life.”
Prince Philip and the Queen will travel to Scotland for their summer break next month, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
The couple’s Balmoral holiday was up in the air amid the coronavirus crisis but will go ahead as lockdown measures are eased across the UK.
The Queen and Philip usually stay at Balmoral throughout August and will be glad to make it to the Aberdeenshire have.
The Queen is said to be most at home at her Scottish residence where she can truly relax outside the royal limelight.
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