Prince Philip to Retire from Royal Duties
Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, is retiring from royal duties this autumn, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The decision was made by the Duke of Edinburgh himself and is supported by the Queen, a palace spokesman said.
Prince Philip, who turns 96 next month, will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August but will not accept new invitations.
The Queen “will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements”, the palace said.
Prince Philip carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, according to Court Circular listings.
The duke is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organizations and will continue to be associated with them, but “will no longer play an active role by attending engagements”, Buckingham Palace said.
In the statement, the palace spokesman said the duke “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time”.
Prince Philip attended Lord’s Cricket Ground to open a new stand on Wednesday and was heard joking at the event that he is the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.
He is famed for off-the-cuff remarks he has made at royal engagements around the world over the years.
PM Theresa May said she offered the UK’s “deepest gratitude and good wishes” to the duke following his announcement.
She added: “From his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen to his inspirational Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the wider world will be of huge benefit to us all for years to come.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wished the duke “all the best in his well-earned retirement”, saying: “He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty.
“His Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations.”
Prince Philip set up the awards in 1956 and they have become one of the UK’s best-known youth programs, with young people carrying out challenges to earn bronze, silver or gold awards.