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.
Image source Wikimedia
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.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for a bladder infection.
Prince Philip, 91, spent five nights at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary – his third hospital stay in nine months.
The duke was taken to hospital on Wednesday during the royals’ annual summer break at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire.
It is not yet known if he will be fit to attend the Paralympics opening ceremony with the Queen on 29 August.
It was a low-key exit and he looked extremely relaxed, shaking hands with the doctors and nurses involved in treating him.
Prince Philip has been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for a bladder infection
Denise Webster, a senior staff nurse, told reporters: “The duke was a very good patient, and as he left the hospital he told staff to behave themselves and he said he was going back to enjoy the rest of his holiday.”
Prince Philip has now rejoined the rest of the Royal Family at Balmoral.
Buckingham Palace had described his admission to hospital as a “precautionary measure” after the recurrence of an infection he suffered shortly before the Diamond Jubilee concert on 4 June.
The duke missed the Royal Family’s visit to morning service at Crathie Kirk on Sunday, before spending a fifth night at the NHS hospital, where he was seen by private physicians.
Doctors told the duke to rest and he did not receive any visitors during his latest stay in hospital, however his family are said to have been in contact by phone.
In June, the duke spent five nights in hospital with a bladder infection following the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames.
He missed some of the key celebrations for the Queen’s 60-year reign, including the star-studded Jubilee concert.
Prince Philip, who is the longest-serving royal consort in British royalty, also spent four nights in hospital over Christmas following an operation to clear a blocked heart artery.
In March, Prince Harry said the operation – which was successful – had given his grandfather a “new spurt of life”.
The duke went to Balmoral after attending several Olympic events, including the opening ceremony, and he also saw his granddaughter Zara Phillips’ Olympic equestrian debut.
Last week Prince Philip was said to be in good spirits when he took part in events as part of Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight.
Prince Philip has been hospitalized with a bladder infection at King Edward VII hospital in London after paramedics were called to Windsor Castle this afternoon as a precautionary measure.
Prince Philip, who celebrates his 91st birthday this Sunday, is being treated and will remain in hospital for a few days.
Yesterday Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, stood for four hours in the freezing rain during the Queen’s Jubilee river pageant.
He appeared to be in good spirits when he joined the rest of his family on the royal barge for the Diamond Jubilee pageant.
Like the Queen, Prince Philip stood for most of the 80-minute journey down the Thames and did appear to be in discomfort.
The Duke of Edinburgh has previously suffered from a bladder infection in February 2002.
Today staff at ambulance control in Berkshire received a call from Windsor Castle shortly after 2:00 p.m. reporting that Prince Phillip was feeling unwell.
Prince Philip was reported to have been suffering from an infection and the medical crew used a chair to help him into the ambulance before he set off to a London hospital.
He had been due to attend a special concert at Buckingham Palace tonight organized by singer Gary Barlow with Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J and others.
Queen Elizabeth II will continue with her engagements as planned as will the rest of the Royal family, despite the Duke’s health scare.
Tomorrow Prince Philip was also due to be at the Queen’s side during a service at St Paul’s Cathedral in the morning, followed by receptions at Mansion House and in the Guildhall, as well as lunch at Westminster Hall.
In the afternoon, a carriage procession in a State Landaus is due to take place with other members of the Royal family. However, the Queen will now attend the event without him at her side.
A Buckingham palace spokesman said: “The Duke of Edinburgh was this afternoon taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London as a precautionary measure after developing a bladder infection. He is currently receiving treatment.
“He will remain in hospital under observation for a few days.
“He is understandably disappointed at missing this evening’s Diamond Jubilee concert and tomorrow’s engagement.”
Prince Philip has been hospitalized with a bladder infection at King Edward VII hospital in London after paramedics were called to Windsor Castle this afternoon as a precautionary measure
Prince Philip has remained remarkably active in recent weeks despite being treated for a blocked coronary artery just before Christmas.
Just three weeks ago he was pictured lugging a heavy car battery around at the Windsor Horse Show apparently with little difficulty.
On December 23 Prince Philip was rushed to hospital via helicopter for emergency treatment.
Buckingham Palace said at the time the Prince underwent a “minimally invasive procedure of coronary stenting” after he was taken to hospital suffering chest pains.
The Royal Family had been gathering at Sandringham, a traditional royal retreat in Norfolk, for Christmas, when he fell ill.
Prince Philip spent four days recovering from the procedure – including Christmas Day – before he was released on December 27.
The Duke of Edinburgh is an incredibly active man, who has enjoyed good health for much of his life.
He has shunned the pursuits of typical pensioners and even as an octogenarian continued to compete in demanding carriage driving competitions.
Before his heart scare last Christmas, Prince Philip’s most recent illness was an uncharacteristic cold in October that forced him to pull out of an overnight stay in Italy for the launch of the ARC Green Pilgrimage Network.
Prince Philip had just completed a busy 11-day official royal tour to Australia with Queen Elizabeth II, 85, that saw them visit Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane.
Commentators billed the long haul trip as the couple’s last to the continent because of their age, but the Palace dismissed speculation it was a “farewell” visit.
In 2008 Prince Philip was treated for a serious chest infection. On that occasion he stayed at the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London
However, most of Prince Philip’s ailments and injuries have been sports-related.
He suffered arthritis in his right wrist from playing polo and tried to dull the pain with Butazolodin, a drug more usually given to lame horses and recommended by his head groom.
It was reported he later stopped taking it because of the side effects.
In 1961, the Duke of Edinburgh broke a bone in his left ankle in a collision on the polo field and in 1963, again playing polo, he suffered a gash to his left arm which needed three stitches.
He was X-rayed in 1964 after a fall from his polo pony when he pulled a ligament in his left shoulder.
Prince Philip also developed synovitis, a rheumatoid condition of the tendon in the hand, after a polo fall.
Accidental mishaps sometimes left the Duke looking the worse for wear.
In 2005, Prince Philip was seen sporting dark glasses and a badly-bruised left eye after slipping in the bath and catching the side of his eye with his thumb.
In May 2006, the Duke pulled out of a royal engagement after suffering from a trapped nerve in his neck.
After a weekend recovering, Prince Philip attended the Chelsea Flower Show, appearing none the worse for wear.
A chest infection laid him low in April 2008 for a number of days and he was eventually admitted to hospital for treatment.
But even with the respiratory problem, he walked into hospital and walked out three days later and went on to make a full recovery.
In August 2008, Buckingham Palace took the unusual step of speaking out to deny a report that the Duke had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The newspaper involved later apologized, saying it accepted the story was untrue.
In January 2009, 87-year-old Prince Philip missed a string of engagements with a bad back after pulling a muscle while carriage driving.
Soon after, it emerged that the Queen had cancelled a state visit due to take place in spring 2009.
Buckingham Palace insisted this was due to “other commitments”, not the Queen’s age nor the Duke’s health.
In June 2010, the Duke had minor surgery on his left hand just before his 89th birthday to cure carpal tunnel syndrome – a common condition that causes pain, numbness and a burning sensation in the hand and fingers.
The hand operation forced Prince Philip to cancel an official trip with the Queen to Crewe.
The first public acknowledgement of his advancing years came as he was preparing to turn 90.
The Palace announced that Prince Philip planned to step down as president or patron of more than a dozen organizations.
Her Majesty the Queen was born on 21 April 1926 in London, the first child of Prince Albert, The Duke of York, and his wife, formerly Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.
Third in line to the throne, it seemed unlikely that Princess Elizabeth would be Queen. However, shortly after the death of George V, the new King – her uncle Edward VIII – dramatically abdicated so he could marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. Princess Elizabeth’s father then became King George VI and she became heir to the throne.
Princess Elizabeth and her younger sister Princess Margaret were educated at home. During the Blitz in 1940, they were moved to Windsor Castle and stayed there for most of the Second World War. In 1945, Princess Elizabeth joined the war effort, training as a driver in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (WATS).
Princess, wife, mother
In November 1947, she married a distant cousin, Philip Mountbatten, who was then created His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The wedding – which took place during the austere post-War years – was described by Winston Churchill as a ‘flash of colour’. The Princess used ration coupons to buy the material for her dress.
The couple have four children. Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, is the eldest and next in line to throne. Both he and Princess Anne, The Princess Royal were born before their mother became Queen. Prince Andrew, The Duke of York and Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex are the only two children to be born to a reigning monarch since Queen Victoria.
Accession and coronation
George VI died on 6 February 1952 while Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were touring Kenya. She returned home immediately and acceded to the throne. After months of preparation, Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. For the first time, the ceremony and the huge public celebrations were broadcast by TV across the UK, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.
A young and glamorous Queen
On her accession, the Queen immediately began her political duties which included opening Parliament and receiving her prime ministers. Throughout the 1950s, the Queen and Prince Philip cut young and glamorous figures as they extensively toured the UK and the Commonwealth.
During the 1960s, the Queen made historic visits to West Berlin at the height of the Cold War, and welcomed Emperor Hirohito of Japan on a state visit to Britain. Against a backdrop of political and social unrest, she celebrated her Silver Jubilee in 1977. It was a huge success and tens of thousands of street parties were thrown by the public across the country.
The 1980s onwards
Five years later, the UK was at war over the Falkland Islands during which Prince Andrew served with the Royal Navy as a helicopter pilot. The 1980s also saw the birth of her first grandchildren, Peter and Zara Phillips.
Disaster struck in 1992 when a devastating fire broke out in Windsor Castle. The same year the respective marriages of Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne disintegrated. The Queen deemed this her ‘annus horribilis’. Tragedy was to follow in 1997, when Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car accident.
And 2002 was another year of personal sadness for the Queen, as both her sister Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother died, casting a shadow over the Golden Jubilee celebrations a few months later.
The Diamond Queen
For the last 60 years, during a period of great change in Britain, the Queen has continued to carry out her political duties as head of state, her role as head of the Commonwealth, the ceremonial responsibilities of the sovereign, and a large annual programme of visits in the UK as well as many foreign tours.
The Queen has also made numerous reforms to the monarchy during her reign. In 1992, she offered to start paying income and capital gains tax. She has opened her official residencies to the public – including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle – in order to finance their maintenance.
She supported ending the rule of male primogeniture, which now means the eldest child can succeed to the throne, regardless of gender. She also supported lifting the ban on anyone in the line of succession marrying a Catholic.
Her reign has heralded the introduction of less formal engagements and visits, and the introduction of the ‘walkabout’ – the meeting and greeting of large numbers of the public.
In 2002, the Queen celebrated 50 years on the throne; in 2006, her 80th birthday; and in 2012, her Diamond Jubilee. The Jubilee will be marked by celebrations across the UK throughout the year.
Official website of The Diamond Jubilee: http://www.thediamondjubilee.org/
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