Prince Philip to step down from carrying out royal engagements

Prince Philip on 3 MayGetty Images Prince Philip, pictured at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday, is 96 next month

The Duke of Edinburgh is retiring from royal duties this autumn, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The decision was made by Prince Philip himself and is supported by the Queen, a palace spokesman said.

The duke, 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 programme of official engagements”, the palace said.

The duke carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, according to Court Circular listings.

He is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations 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 spokesman said the duke “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time”.

The Queen and Duke of EdinburghAFP/Getty The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary later this yearBBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the duke “clearly feels he now wishes to curtail” his “familiar role” in support of the Queen.

He added: “The Queen is going to continue, of that there is no doubt. She will continue, albeit with a somewhat lightened workload.”

The duke 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.

The duke and the Queen celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November, while his birthday is on 10 June.

On Thursday, he and the Queen are due at a service for members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace before hosting a lunch for those attending.

 

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