Prince Philip, 97, looked straight to camera after he received Brigadier Andrew Freeman, Head of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers [R.A.E.M.E] at Windsor Castle.
The meeting comes as Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew visited the Castle with Princess Eugenie and her groom Jack Brooksbank ahead of tomorrow’s Royal Wedding.
It’s widely believed Philip will “decided on the day” if he attends his granddaughter’s wedding amid concerns for his health and an ongoing feud with Fergie.
Philip and the Duchess of York have not been in the same room as each other in 20 years in the wake of Prince Andrew’s divorce.
But Philip’s event at Windsor Castle suggests the hatchet may have been buried just in time for the royal wedding.
Buckingham Palace said in a tweet: “His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, has received Brigadier Andrew Freeman, Head of the Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers [R.A.E.M.E] at Windsor Castle.
“The Duke, who is Colonel-in-Chief of R.A.E.M.E, also received Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Evans, Chief of Staff at the Australian High Commission.”
In the wake of Philip’s engagement, proud parents the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York will be gearing up for tomorrrow’s celebrations.
Andrew has remained on very friendly terms with his ex-wife the duchess amid speculation they might even remarry.
However, her relationship with her former father-in-law the Duke of Edinburgh is said to be non-existent.
Philip is said to have never forgiven “Fergie” for the scandal she caused when she was caught in the infamous “toe-sucking” incident, having her feet kissed by financial adviser John Bryan in 1992.
And today marks the first time in weeks Prince Philip has been seen – the Duke of Edinburgh has kept a low-profile since his retirement and hip surgery earlier this year.
The Queen and Philip’s granddaughter and her fiance were spotted arriving at Windsor Castle just a few hours after the Dean of Windsor described them as the “perfect couple”.
With Mr Brooksbank at the wheel of the car, they travelled in convoy with a vehicle driven by the Duke of York with his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York beside him and Princess Beatrice on a back seat.
In Windsor, there was a noticeable police presence as security was stepped up ahead of the couple’s big day – which is expected to attract thousands to the Berkshire town.
The Queen, who has been spending her traditional summer break in Scotland at her private Balmoral retreat, arrived at Windsor Castle on Thursday afternoon as preparations gathered pace.
Some 850 guests will gather in the historic surroundings of St George’s Chapel where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wed five months ago.
Harry and Meghan and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to be among the guests on Friday, along with the Queen and a host of royals.
Celebrity guests will include former Take That singer Robbie Williams and his wife and fellow X Factor judge Ayda Field.
Williams’ six-year-old daughter Theodora is taking a starring role as a bridesmaid, alongside five-year-old Prince George and three-year-old Princess Charlotte.
Royal fans will be hoping for some fun-filled antics from the young helpers in the bridal party, which include Zara and Mike Tindall’s spirited four-year-old Mia and Peter and Autumn Phillips’ daughters Savannah and Isla.
Future king George will be joined by fellow page boy Louis de Givenchy – the six-year-old son of JP Morgan banking executive Olivier de Givenchy and his wife Zoe.
Princess Eugenie and Jack’s big day follows the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s May nuptials – the first time in living memory two royal weddings have been staged in the same year at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel.
The Queen is hosting an afternoon reception afterwards in the castle’s St George’s Hall, but the festivities are expected to continue into the early hours with an evening party at the York family home, the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
The groom Jack has asked his brother Thomas to be his best man, while Eugenie’s older sister Princess Beatrice will be her maid of honour.