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Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is retiring in August, aged 96, with the full support of Queen Elizabeth II, for a well-earned rest.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh today presented 100 Gold Award Certificates to Duke of Edinburgh's Award participants at Hillsborough Castle.

Prince Philip during a visit to Northern Ireland in 2015. By Northern Ireland Office [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

However, Prince Philip will continue carrying out scheduled official engagements between now and August, on his own as well as accompany the Queen, including today’s Service for Members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.

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He will no longer be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may choose to attend public events from time to time.

Source: The Royal Family

Prince Philip will no longer play an active role by attending engagements as Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations.

He was the fifth-busiest member of the Royal Family in 2016, as he spent 110 days carrying out official duties, and 25 days in 2017.


Meanwhile, the Queen will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with support from other members of the Royal Family.

Emergency Meeting At Buckingham Palace

As we reported earlier today, staff from the royal household were notified around 3.00 am (12 noon AEST) for an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace at 10.00 am (7.00pm AEST).

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Since the news broke, speculation ran rife on social media with news reports claiming Prince Philip had died. Or whether the Queen will abdicate? Or would Buckingham Palace announce a Regency, as the Queen would not abdicate?

Former Royal Press Secretary Dickie Arbiter offered this suggestion to help calm the speculation.

Buckingham Palace later assured royal correspondents, including Juliet Rieden from The Australian Women’s Weekly who said the meeting had nothing to do with the Queen or Prince Philip’s health on 2GB’s The Chris Smith Show.