The link between Australia and the Duke of Edinburgh stretches back more than half a century but his unwitting role in the downfall of a prime minister earns him a lasting mention in Australian history.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s surprise move to award Prince Philip a Knight of the Order of Australia in January 2015 sparked a public and party backlash, and sowed the seeds for his ultimate removal later that year.
A week later Mr Abbott would confess he “probably overdid it on awards” before giving the power to award Orders of Australia solely to the council.
Even the gaffe-prone Prince Philip remained silent on the controversy, accepting the award from his wife, Queen Elizabeth, in a quiet Buckingham Palace ceremony several months later.
On Wednesday in London the Duke will attend his last official public engagement with a Captain General’s parade of the Royal Marines.
The announcement in May that the Duke was stepping down came after a day of much media speculation that the steadfast companion of the Queen for 70 years, may have died.
However, retiring at the age of 96, the Duke, who is the longest-serving consort in British history and also the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch, is reported to be in good health.
He reportedly still takes the stairs rather than the lift and can still fit the uniform he wore on his wedding day.
Wednesday will be his 22,219th solo engagement since 1953, Buckingham Palace said.
The Duke of Edinburgh has been on 637 solo overseas visits, where his inappropriate comments often caused a stir in the hosting nation.
Over 20 royal visits to Australia were no different, asking Aboriginal leader Ivan Brim on a 2002 visit to Australia “do you still throw spears at each other?”
A decade earlier he refused to pat a koala in case he caught “some ghastly disease”.
Prince Philip’s naval career came to an end once his wife became Queen, but he served in WWII, seeing active service from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean.
In 1940 he escorted Australian soldiers from Melbourne to the Suez aboard battleship Ramilles, and five years later travelled to Australia as part of the British Pacific Fleet.
He joined the newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth on her Commonwealth tour in 1954, travelling across the country over eight weeks, and would return with her and on solo visits many times in the coming years.
During his visits to Australia he opened the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, the 1962 Commonwealth Games in Perth, the Royal Australian Mint in 1965, was with the Queen when she opened the Sydney Opera House in 1973 and also opened the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
With that track record, it comes as no surprise that the Duke has been known to refer to himself as the “world’s most experience plaque-unveiler”.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s royal service in numbers from 1952 to August 2 2017:
* 22,219 – Solo engagements
* 637 – Solo overseas visits, including 229 visits to 67 Commonwealth countries, and 408 visits to 76 other countries
* 5496 – Speeches given
* 785 – Patronages
* 54 – Presentation of colours
* 32 – Service appointments
* 14 – Books authored