Could Duke of Edinburgh make a final visit to Hartlepool?

The Duke of Edinburgh, who will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year, Buckingham Palace has announced.
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The chairman of Hartlepool’s Tricomalee Trust hopes the Duke of Edinburgh will be able to make a final visit to the ship before he retires from public life.

Buckingham Place announced yesterday that the Duke, who has been the trust’s patron since the late 1980s, would be giving up public engagements from the autumn.

HMS Trincomalee.

HMS Trincomalee.

But he has told organisers he hopes to make a final visit before then.

Chairman Peter Olsen said the trust was ‘extremely grateful’ for the Duke’s support over the years - and were keeping their fingers crossed.

“We are hopeful the Duke is going to visit us before he stops his public duties in the autumn - he has indicated he would like to, but it is going to depend a little bit on what happens in the meantime,” said Mr Olsen.

“We are very grateful for what he has done as our patron. He has been magnificent from our point of view.

We are hopeful the Duke is going to visit us before he stops his public duties in the autumn - he has indicated he would like to, but it is going to depend a little bit on what happens in the meantime.

Peter Olsen

“For instance, he has just penned the foreword for our bicentennial appeal literature, which will be going out shortly.

“We are extremely grateful to him for that and for his support as patron in the past and we wish him all the best in his semi-retirement.”

It is understood the Duke had been thinking about stepping down from public duties over the past few months and took the decision to make the announcement now as his diary for the autumn would have been finalised during this period.

But Buckingham Palace stressed he may decide to attend certain events from time to time.

Peter Olsen

Peter Olsen

The Palace said in a statement: “In taking this decision, the Duke has the full support of the Queen. Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying the Queen.

“Thereafter, the Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.

“The Duke of Edinburgh is patron, president or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated, although he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.

“Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.”