Published: Sat, May 06, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Prince Philip to retire from royal duties

Prince Philip to retire from royal duties

Britain's Prince Philip, the 95-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has chose to retire from royal duties "from the autumn of this year", Buckingham Palace announced in a statement issued Thursday.

The Queen's consort will retire from royal engagements in the autumn after more than 65 years supporting the Queen in her role as head of state and attending events for his own charities and organisations.

The palace released a statement on their social media saying the Queen has given her husband her "full support" in this decision.

The statement came after high anticipation and worst-case speculation about why Queen Elizabeth had called an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace.

He once admitted the curtailment of his career was "disappointing", but said that "being married to the queen, it seemed to me that my first duty was to serve her in the best way I could".

The couple, who are due to celebrate their platinum, or 70th, wedding anniversary in November, have been cutting their workload in recent years, passing on many responsibilities to son and heir Prince Charles, and grandsons, Princes William and Harry.

"Prince Philip dead at 95, how did the Duke of Edinburgh die, etc etc", ran the headline. From the fall, then, the man behind the Queen will rest, while Queen Elizabeth will continue to carry out her duties. His official retirement will begin within the last quarter of the year.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1947.

"I reckon I've done my bit", Prince Philip said.

Despite 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.

They were all carried out in Britain as Queen Elizabeth and the duke have cut down their overseas travel.

It was here the Duke of Edinburgh - known for his choice of words down the years - made what might be one of his last public quips when a guest told him he was sorry to hear he was standing down.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May offered "deepest gratitude and good wishes" to Prince Philip, while opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn praised his "clear sense of public duty".

Diane Cole, 76, a retired Briton living in Melbourne, Australia, said: "The thing I like the most is when he. speaks his mind".

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