Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

UK Queen's husband Prince Philip retires from royal duties

Prince Harry has also commanded considerable attention, most recently by talking openly about emotional problems he dealt with for 20 years after his mother, Princess Diana, died in a auto crash in Paris.

So, he's retiring. It's hard to imagine that the Duke of Edinburgh "works", but at 95 years old, he is probably sick of making public appearances and doffing his top hat.

The statement indicated Philip will carry out previously scheduled engagements between now and August.

"Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family", the statement said in regards to the Queen.

Philip saw the amusing side of the announcement on Thursday when he met mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah at a reception for members of the Order of Merit at St James's Palace.

In a message from Downing Street, British Prime Minister Theresa May said she wanted to offer the country's "deepest gratitude and good wishes" to the Duke of Edinburgh following today's announcement.

"I can't stand up much", quipped the Prince.

When he opened the new Warner stand at Lord's cricket ground on Wednesday, the Duke joked just before he pulled a cord to expose a monument to his visit: "You're about to see the world's most experienced plaque-unveiler".

The Duke has the full support of the Queen, it said. But he will not be accepting any new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may "choose to attend" certain public events from time to time.

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The meeting was called somewhat last minute, leading many to fear that some actual emergency was taking place at the palace.

Few would begrudge him a chance to take it easy after more than 22,000 solo royal engagements since Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952.

He is not expected to disappear completely from the public stage; the palace said he may still take part in some events from time to time.

May said Prince Philip s contribution to Britain, the Commonwealth and the wider world would be "of huge benefit to us all for years to come".

The queen is normally quite reserved about her private life, but she broke with tradition in a 1997 speech marking their 50 years of marriage.

They were all carried out in Britain as Queen Elizabeth and her husband have cut down their overseas travel. She has described him as "my strength and stay".

He represented the royal family in more than 200 events in 2016.

The fact that staff from all the royal households were called to the meeting at Buckingham Palace to hear the announcement is telling in itself.

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