Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip Take a Break from Their Vacation For a Special Engagement

They bestowed a rare honor on a former member of the royal household.

This week, the Queen and Prince Philip took a break from their extended summer holiday to perform an important royal duty.

The British monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh invested Mr. Paul Hughes with the Insignia of a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order on Monday, an engagement which was both recorded in the Court Circular, and reported by Hello.

The royal family's website describes the Royal Victorian Order as "the personal gift of the Sovereign," and an honor given "to those who have served The Queen or the monarchy in a particular way."

Per the British publication, Hughes served as the chief clerk and accountant of The Duke of Edinburgh's Household in 2009. He had previously received an MVO or Member of the Royal Victorian Order; an LVO or Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order is an increase in rank.

Given that Prince Philip has been retired from public duty for two years now, his participation in this engagement is particularly significant. It's also noteworthy that the ceremony took place in August when the Queen is on her vacation at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

Over the past few weeks, family members including Prince Andrew, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, and Prince Edward and his wife Sophie the Countess of Wessex, have come to visit the Queen at her Scottish getaway as she steps back from public events.

"I think Granny is [happiest] there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands," Eugenie said in the recent documentary Our Queen At Ninety.

“Walks, picnics, dogs—a lot of dogs, there’s always dogs—and people coming in and out all the time,” Eugenie continued. “It’s a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there, where you just have room to breathe and run.”

The Queen will reportedly return to London in October.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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