Prince Philip will meet the obligations he has committed to between now and August, but he will not accept new invitations after that, though he might still choose to attend certain public events.
The Duke of Edinburgh serves as patron, president or a member of hundreds of organizations and will continue to do so, though he won’t actively attend engagements anymore.
The news came after a night of revered speculation that began with a story in The Daily Mail about an “emergency meeting” to which the Queen’s entire household had been summoned.
Staff were to be addressed by Lord Chamberlain, the most senior member of the Royal Household, as well as the Queen’s Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt, the Mail reported.
The story touched off rumours about the health of Prince Philip and the Queen, but an unnamed source told the Reuters news agency that there was no cause for alarm.
Prince Philip visits Lord’s Cricket Ground where he opened the new Warner Stand, in London, May 3, 2017.
Prince Philip was present at the opening of Warner Stand, at the Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday.
British Prime Minister Theresa May offered her “deepest gratitude” to Philip, thanking him for his service.
“On behalf of the whole country, I want to offer our deepest gratitude and good wishes to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s announcement that he will stand down from public duties in the autumn,” May said in a statement. “From his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen to his inspirational Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the wider world will be of huge benefit to us all for years to come.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also thanked Philip and wished him well in his retirement.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank Prince Philip for his decades of service and wish him the all the best in his retirement.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 4, 2017
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank Prince Philip for his decades of service and wish him the all the best in his retirement,” Trudeau said on Twitter.
The Queen, meanwhile, met with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the same day to mark the start of the country’s election campaign.
Prince Philip will turn 96 next month.
- With files from Reuters and The Associated Press