(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Prince Philip’s sense of humour shone through in a past joke to the Queen, as he reportedly told his royal wife that she should retire for a hilarious reason.

Prince Philip and the Queen were happily married for 73 year (opens in new tab)s before he sadly passed away at Windsor Castle last month. The Duke of Edinburgh won her heart (opens in new tab) throughout their marriage and the monarch once described him as her “strength and stay”. Though still mourning her beloved husband, the Queen has now returned to royal duties following Prince Philip’s funeral and was praised for having “lead by example” (opens in new tab) at the poignant service. Abiding by Covid-19 guidelines, Her Majesty sat alone, though not in the front row (opens in new tab), of St George’s Chapel.

This commitment to her royal duties despite her immense grief has showcased the Queen’s selflessness. Though there has been speculation about what might happen if the Queen retires (opens in new tab), it seems as though this won’t be happening any time soon.

However, reports have claimed that Prince Philip once joked to his wife about he retiring - and he supposedly gave a hilarious reason.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend a State Banquet in Dublin Castle on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland

As reported by Express.co.uk, Royal expert Antonio Caprarica claimed to London One Radio that the Duke of Edinburgh previously told Her Majesty: "it's time to go away as long as one can with their legs rather than getting a kick in the backside and be thrown out like an old shoe". 

Antonio then added, "I believe few people have dared to tell the Queen that she could become an old shoe. Then, as we know, she did not become one."

Despite her husband’s light-hearted quip, it seems the Queen wasn’t to be swayed from her royal duty. This insight comes as historical novelist Hilary Mantel recently expressed her uncertainty over whether the monarchy would “outlast” Prince William.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of their coronation, Buckingham Palace, 1953

In a recent interview with The Telegraph, the Wolf Hall writer suggested that the Royal Family is facing an “end game” (opens in new tab). However, she also reflected on the monarch’s unshaken commitment, saying that she understood that the Queen “thinks of this as a sacred task, from which you simply cannot abdicate”. 

“She believes that she cannot cease to be a monarch – she made those promises to God. It’s such a cliché to say, but what a lonely position to be in. It’s a conflict, because most of the world sees the Royal family as a branch of show business. And I’m sure that is very far from the Queen’s own thinking”, Hilary speculated to the publication. 

Next year the Queen will mark her Platinum Jubilee as she celebrates her 70th year on the throne. 

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.