The Queen has appointed the Duke of Edinburgh Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO), honouring him for “services to the sovereign” on their 70th wedding anniversary.
The gesture will be seen as formal recognition of the devotion the Duke has shown through seven decades of marriage, supporting her publicly and privately.
The appointment makes him the first UK citizen awarded four order of chivalry breast stars since Lord Mountbatten of Burma, the Duke’s uncle and mentor who was instrumental in encouraging the early courtship of the young Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
It is a thought that the Duke is now the only living person to have the four: GCVO, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (KG), a Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (KT) and a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (GBE).
He was also the recipient of many other honours including the Order of Merit (OM), Order of New Zealand (ONZ), and Knight, Order of Australia (AK).
The Duke, 96, retired from his public role in the summer after years of royal duty alongside the Queen.
He is the longest serving royal consort in British history, and with the Queen, the nation’s longest reigning monarch, is the first to celebrate a 70th wedding anniversary.
Awards in the Royal Victorian Order are made personally by the Queen and bestowed independently of Downing Street.
The Queen presented Philip with the honour at Windsor Castle, where they are marking their anniversary privately.
They are celebrating with close family and friends at a special dinner at the Berkshire residence on Monday evening.
The Duke was photographed enjoying a carriage ride in Windsor ahead of the dinner, accompanied by his nephews Prince Ludwig of Baden and Maximilian, Margrave of Baden, the sons of his late sister Theodora.
In 2007 on their 60th anniversary, the Queen bestowed the Royal Victorian Chain upon the Duke as a sign of her affection.
On the day of their 70th anniversary, they preferred to celebrate privately.
Prime Minister Theresa May sent her congratulations to couple on their “special” anniversary, while other messages came from the Women’s Institute, of which the Queen has been a member longer than she has been married to the Duke, joining the Sandringham branch as a princess in 1943.
Bells at Westminster Abbey in central London have rung out in tribute, with a full celebratory peal lasting around three hours and 20 minutes
At the weekend, a series of portraits of the Queen and Philip taken by British photographer Matt Holyoak was released to mark the platinum anniversary.
The portraits show the monarch wearing a yellow gold, ruby and diamond scarab brooch, given as a personal gift from Philip to the Queen in 1966.