Prince Philip Is Retiring From Public Engagements

The Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 96 next month, will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August but will not accept new invitations.

The Palace has never been keen on phrases like "slowing down" or "taking a step back" when it comes to the Queen and Prince Philip.

Now, at age 95, Prince Philip says he is retiring from royal duties.

The prince may choose to attend public events from time to time and to maintain contact with some of the 780 organisations of which he is patron, president or a member.

The officials spoke Thursday after a report by Britain's Daily Mail of an unusual meeting of royal household staff sparked speculation about the health of Queen Elizabeth II, 91, and her husband, Prince Philip, 95.

But Buckingham Palace stressed he may decide to attend certain events from time to time.

Prime Minister Theresa May led the tributes to the Queen's consort, saying he has given the monarch "steadfast support", while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Duke's "clear sense of public duty" had inspired people for more than 60 years.

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"On behalf of the whole country, I want to offer our deepest gratitude and good wishes to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh following today's announcement that he will stand down from public duties in the autumn".

Close confidants of the royal family said the decision was a personal one taken by the Duke himself, who may now devote his time to writing his memoirs. In 1956, he founded the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which recognizes youth achievement and operates in more than 140 countries.

Which is why I've been told that the Prince's plan to step away from the rigours of public duties was a very personal decision that only he could make - fully supported by his wife, of course. She is expected to continue to carry out her official engagements.

Inspite of being at the forefront of the royal family for nearly 70 years and also patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations, he has no clear-cut constitutional role and has admitted struggling to carve out a role for himself as the queen's consort.

Both the queen and Philip have suffered some health issues in recent years.

The duke has been involved in a number of charities and organizations over the years.

Somehow the Sun's report on the "emergency meeting" became a declaration that Prince Philip was dead.

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