The night is drawing nigh and Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will be retiring to get some rest.

He will attend the last of his official solo public engagements Wednesday.

After a lifetime of public service by the side of his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip will finally retire on Wednesday at the age of 96.

The Duke of Edinburgh will attend a parade of Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace, the last of 22,219 solo public engagements since the queen ascended to the throne in 1952.

He has attended countless more events with the queen, now 91, but both have slowed their pace in recent years, handing over responsibilities to the younger royals.

"Prince Philip is entitled to slow down a bit," the Daily Telegraph newspaper wrote in an editorial, adding: "This is a man who has always put his country first."

The former World War II naval officer has carried out 637 overseas visits on his own in the past 65 years, given almost 5,500 speeches, and was patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations.

His final engagement on Wednesday will honour his military background, as he attends the end of a charity challenge in which Royal Marines ran 1,664 miles over 100 days to mark the founding of the commando force in 1664.