UK's Prince Philip to step down from royal duties

The 95-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will cease royal duties from autumn.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lords, with Prince Philip, during the State Opening of Parliament in London on May 9, 2012.

Prince Philip is to retire from carrying out royal engagements later this year, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday.

The 95-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth also has the title Duke of Edinburgh. He has been by his wife's side throughout her 65 years on the throne. He decided he would cease public duties from autumn, the palace said in a statement.

"Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen," the statement said.

"Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time."

The queen is the world's longest-reigning living monarch. She celebrated her 91st birthday in April and will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements, the statement added.

The announcement was made following a meeting of senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace. News of the meeting had prompted speculation about the health of the royals.

However a well-placed source said there is no cause for concern about the welfare of the queen or Philip, who turns 96 next month.

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

Both carried out official duties on Wednesday. Queen Elizabeth met Prime Minister Theresa May to formally agree to the dissolution of parliament ahead of June's election. Prince Philip opened a new stand at Lord's Cricket Ground in central London.

TRTWorld and agencies