Prince Philip receives Navy title for 90th birthday

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Media captionThe Duke of Edinburgh is presented with the title and office of Lord High Admiral of the Navy

The Queen has formally presented the Duke of Edinburgh with the title and office of Lord High Admiral of the Navy to mark his 90th birthday.

The post - the titular head of the Royal Navy - dates back to the 14th Century.

It has been held by the Queen since a review of the Navy in 1964.

The Duke was given the post on his birthday in June but has now received the letters patent as the holder of the title, watched by the Queen.

Prince Philip gave up a promising career on the seas to devote his life to royal duty. He had already reached the rank of commander before stepping down from his active role in 1951 as the health of his father-in-law George VI deteriorated.

Some believe he could have been First Sea Lord - the professional head of the Royal Navy - and the Queen's birthday gift could be seen as an acknowledgement of the sacrifices the Duke has made for his wife.

In an ITV interview to mark his 90th year, he was asked how he felt giving up his job as a Royal Navy officer.

"I don't know how difficult it was, it was naturally disappointing," he said.

"I had just been promoted to commander and the fact was that the most interesting part of my naval career was just starting."

"Asked to resign"

Today's event at Admiralty House in Whitehall was hosted by Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff.

The Queen and Duke were shown a display of precision drumming by five members of the Royal Marines Corps of Drummers and also attended a reception for senior naval officers and ordinary servicemen.

In the 18th Century building's Admiralty Boardroom - where Nelson attended meetings and the Navy Board still meets - Prince Philip listened intently as a senior naval officer gave a brief speech on the history of his new title.

He laughed when the description turned to the holder before the Queen, the Duke of Clarence, later William IV.

The royal had rowed with his advisory council "and when in 1828 he led a squadron out for manoeuvres without consulting either his council, the King or the Duke of Wellington and was gone, no one knew where, for 10 days it proved too much and he was asked to resign", Prince Philip was told.

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