Prince Philip is stepping down from public life, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The Queen’s husband has taken the decision to step down from his royal duties at the age of 95, and will cease his duties in the autumn, after his 96th birthday in June.
Buckingham Palace confirmed the news in an official statement which read: ‘His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of The Queen.’
‘Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen. Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.’
‘The Duke of Edinburgh is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated, although he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.’
They add that Queen Elizabeth II will continue with her own duties, stating: ‘Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.’
News of the Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement came after it was reported that the Palace had called a ‘highly unusual’ emergency meeting earlier this morning.
Senior aides were said to have ordered all staff from royal residences across the country, including Balmoral in Scotland, Windsor Castle and Sandringham to come to London for the announcement.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth married in November 1947, and the couple have since had four children together: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
As well as his work with the organisations mentioned in the statement, he serves as chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, which provides personal development opportunities for young people.
Not only is the Duke the longest serving consort of a reigning British monarch, he is the oldest ever male member of the British royal family, the oldest ever female being the Queen’s aunt Princess Alice, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 102.