Prince Philip, 95, To Retire From All Royal Duties

Prince Philip, 95, To Retire From All Royal Duties

The 95-year-old has attended countless British and foreign engagements, as well as being patron or president of nearly 800 organisations.

Now, at age 95, Prince Philip says he is retiring from royal duties. After their marriage in 1947, they spent time in Malta, where he was posted - only for their lives to be changed overnight by the premature death of her father, king George VI, in 1952. "In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of The Queen", the palace said in a statement. It was even reported that Prince Philip had died.

Elizabeth and Philip appeared to be in good health Wednesday.

The queen's husband said Thursday he will carry out scheduled engagements for the next few months but won't take on new ones starting in the fall.

"Although meetings involving the entire royal household are occasionally called, the way this has been done at the eleventh hour is highly unusual and suggests that there is something major to be disseminated", a source told the Daily Mail.

"I'm sorry to hear you're standing down", said 88-year-old mathematician Michael Atiyah said, using the British expression for retirement.

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"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", the statement said, adding that the decision does not affect the 91-year-old monarch's public engagement calendar.

Later today, the Queen and Prince Philip are due at a service for members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal at St James' Palace near Buckingham Palace, before hosting a lunch for those attending.

Prince Philip may have chose to step down from his public role as he approaches his 96th birthday, but he apparently has no intention to retire his famous one-liners.

She and Prince Philip, who will turn 96 in June, just returned to the palace after celebrating a long Easter holiday. "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know".

It is likely that the monarch will be accompanied by younger members of the royal family on future engagements.

The announcement of Philip's retirement was made following a meeting of all senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace, news of which prompted media speculation about the health of the royals.

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