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Prime Minister Bill English has paid tribute to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and thanked him for his extraordinary public service.

Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Philip will be stepping down from public duties from August this year.

“The Duke has had a tremendous career. He has dedicated his working life to supporting Her Majesty, and making a remarkable contribution to hundreds of military, charitable and philanthropic organisations throughout the Commonwealth,” Mr English says.

“We’ve been honoured to have hosted the Duke in New Zealand on 14 occasions dating back to 1953.

“His connection with New Zealand was celebrated in 2012 when he was made an Additional Member of the Order of New Zealand.

“I am sure that the Duke of Edinburgh will continue to be an enormous support to Her Majesty in the years to come, and that New Zealanders will join me in thanking His Royal Highness for his unwavering service and dedication.”

Note to Editors:

The Duke of Edinburgh has visited New Zealand 10 times with the Queen (1953-54, 1963, 1970, 1977, 1981, 1986, 1990, 1995, and 2002).  He has visited four times on his own (1956, 1968, 1992, and 1997).

His Royal Highness holds the honorary ranks of Field Marshal of the New Zealand Army, Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal New Zealand Navy, and Marshal of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award, established in New Zealand in 1963, continues to be a popular way to encourage and motivate young New Zealanders over the age of 14 to become involved in a programme of voluntary self-development activities.

He is patron of over 780 organisations, including the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and is a life member of the Aviation Industry Association of New Zealand. He is an Honorary Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Professional Engineers, the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Veteran’s Association of New Zealand, and the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners.

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