With his dapper dress sense and lacerating wit, the Duke of Edinburgh looks – and behaves – far younger than his 93 years.
But in a rare show of frailty, the 93-year-old royal stepped out in public wearing hearing aids for the very first time today.
The listening devices, which could just about be seen protruding from his ears, were worn during a reception for members of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association at Buckingham Palace.
Sprightly: Despite the hearing aids, the Duke of Edinburgh – and the Queen – were on typically sprightly form
Well hidden: Thin wires could be seen protruding from the Duke’s ears – the only sign of hearing aids
Despite the hearing aids, the Duke was on typically sprightly form, enthusiastically welcoming Armed Forces veterans to the palace, alongside the Queen.
For her part, the monarch, who is 88 years old, cheerfully chatted to veterans, among them Corporal Mark Donaldson VC of the Australian Special Air Service and Corporal Willie Apiata VC of the New Zealand Special Air Service, as she toured the room.
The reception was held on behalf of the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association, which brings together living holders of the Victoria and George Crosses, while remembering those who lost their lives.
Currently, there are 30 living holders of the two awards, both of which reward exceptional valour on the battlefield or in dangerous circumstances.
The Victoria Cross is the oldest and most prestigious of the two and was instituted by Queen Victoria on 29th January 1856 for those who show ‘most conspicuous bravery or some daring pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy’.
Although the Victoria Cross can only be awarded to members of the British and Commonwealth Armed Forces, the George Cross can be awarded to civilians as well.
Launched by George VI on the 24th September 1940, it was initially intended to recognise the efforts of Londoners attempting to deal with the Blitz but was soon expanded to apply to members of the Armed Forces who display ‘gallant conduct in the face of the enemy’.
Source @ dailymail