Prince Philip to retire from Royal duties

Elias Hubbard
May 12, 2017

Earlier in the day, a report by Britain's Daily Mail of an unusual meeting of royal household staff sparked a worldwide wave of speculation about the health of the queen and Philip, including incorrect reports that the flag atop Buckingham Palace had been lowered to half-staff. Senior royal officer Lord Chamberlain and private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt are expected to address staff, but the subject of that meeting is now unknown. When news of the extraordinary meeting was leaked to the press, rumors began to circulate suggesting that Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip have died.

Royal families in other parts of the world have similar obligations, and there have certainly been cases where monarchs or members of their family have retired from public life: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands reigned for more than 30 years, then made a decision to step down in 2013.

Servants will be addressed by the Royal Household's most senior officer Lord Chamberlain and Her Majesty's Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt in just hours.

The queen is generally believed to be in good health, though a "heavy cold" over Christmas last winter kept her away from her usual church attendance.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the situation.

Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, will "no longer carry out public engagements" starting in the fall, Buckingham Palace says, announcing what amounts to a retirement at age 95.

Palace spokesman said: "He will no longer carry out public engagement from the autumn of this year".

Several news outlets are speculating it could be concerning Queen Elizabeth or her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

It said he would attend previously scheduled engagements until August, and would not accept any new invitations thereafter.

As reported by the Telegraph, Prince Philip is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organizations throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations.

Philip is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations, and while he will maintain his association with them, he will "no longer play an active role by attending engagements", it said.

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's withdrawal from public life will leave a huge gap to be filled. That is quite a feat for a man fast approaching his 96th birthday.

The prince, who has been attending ribbon-cuttings, state banquets and other high-ceremony events on behalf of the royal family for more than half a century, has always been expected to curtail his role as his health has gradually declined. The Queen, however, will continue with her many engagements, which often run the gamut from attending charity galas to making appearances at a number of sporting events.

Philip, a member of the Greek royal family in exile, has been at Elizabeth's side in countless public appearance since their marriage in 1947.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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