Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has decided to step down from carrying out royal duties this autumn, the Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday. The decision has the support of the Queen, a spokesman of the palace said.
Prince Philip, who will turn 96 next month, will attend engagements that were scheduled between May and August on his own or with the Queen. However, he will not accept any new invitations. The prince carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, BBC reported.
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Prince Philip is a 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," the Buckingham Palace said. The spokesman said in a statement by the palace that the duke "may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time."
There were speculations going on that Prince Philip had passed away after Queen Elizabeth II called for an emergency meeting at the Buckingham Palace on Wednesday night. But the palace confirmed that both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were healthy.
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Speculations began doing the rounds after the Daily Mail reported that Lord Chamberlain, the senior most officer of the Royal Household, and Queen's right-hand man, Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt, ordered all servants from royal residences to attend an emergency meeting.
The royal staff and the longest serving staff of the Buckingham Palace were reportedly not aware of the meeting. Sources told Daily Mail that the meeting was "highly unusual" triggering speculations that it could be about an important announcement regarding the Queen or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Philip and the Queen will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November this year.