Published: Wed, May 10, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Prince Philip, 95, To Retire From All Royal Duties

But the royal family s patriarch, who conducted 219 royal engagements a year ago, has been gradually reducing his workload in his nineties.

At an engagement at St James's Palace in central London with his wife yesterday, a guest told Prince Philip he was sorry to hear he was standing down.

"You're about to see the world's most experienced plaque-unveiler", he quipped just before pulling the cord to part a small curtain.

One of the officials said household meetings are called from time to time.

"This is not a decision taken for medical reasons".

The former naval officer's devotion to duty and the Queen has endeared him to the nation, though some of his politically incorrect remarks have ruffled feathers.

Prime Minister Theresa May offered the country's "deepest gratitude and good wishes" to Philip on his retirement.

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.

"In taking this decision, the Duke has the full support of the Queen", it said, ending frenzied speculation in the media after the Queen had called an emergency meeting of all of her staff at the palace today.

'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'.

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.

Prince Philip playing polo in 1952.

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.

However sources said there was no cause for concern about the welfare of the queen or Philip, who turns 96 next month.

But she made a sacred vow before God and her people at her 1953 coronation to serve for life, which experts say she considers unbreakable.

The Queen's public schedule will continue as normal but it is understood other members of the royal family will "step up" in support of the monarch.

Attention has been increasingly focused on her son Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, and on her grandson Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Philip still has scheduled appointments to make between now and his official retirement in August, many of them accompanying the Queen, and plans to fulfill those obligations.

His 219 engagements past year were made up of 101 official visits, 91 receptions and 21 other engagements.

They visited Germany and Malta in 2015 but have not left Europe since touring Australia in 2011.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1947.

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