Britain’s Prince Philip to step down from public duties

Britain’s Prince Philip will no longer take part in public duties starting in August, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday.

Britain's Prince Philip arrives at Macdonald Cartier International airport in Ottawa, Ontario, on July 3, 2010. Buckingham Palace announced Thursday the royal consort would be stepping down from public duties starting in August. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI | License Photo
Britain’s Prince Philip arrives at Macdonald Cartier International airport in Ottawa, Ontario, on July 3, 2010. Buckingham Palace announced Thursday the royal consort would be stepping down from public duties starting in August. File Photo by Heinz Ruckemann/UPI | License Photo

The duke of Edinburgh, 96, is expected to attend all previously scheduled royal appearances until then, but will not accept new invitations.

“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, the duke has the full support of the queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
Queen Elizabeth, 91, though, is expected to “continue to carry out a full program of official engagements,” the palace said.

The announcement was made after an unusual, last-minute meeting by royal officials and the duke’s close aides, NBC News reported. Philip is next slated to appear in public Thursday at an event at St. James’ Palace.

Despite his retirement, Philip “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time,” a spokesman said.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II have been married for 70 years. In 2016, the duke attended 110 days of public engagements, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, BBC News reported.

The duke has recently been portrayed by Matt Smith in Netflix’s The Crown, the first season of which follows the couple through the early years of their marriage and Elizabeth’s (Claire Foy) rule.

By Danielle Haynes