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Prince Philip to step down from public duties

06 May 2017

Prince Philip, the husband of England's Queen Elizabeth II, will retire from royal duties this summer, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday.

"Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen", the palace said in a statement.

The palace said the Duke would continue heading numerous charitable organizations although he "will no longer play an active role by attending engagements".

Officials said the Queen, who turned 91 last month, will keep carrying out royal engagements with the support of the royal family.

The announcement was made following a meeting of senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace, news of which prompted speculation about the health of the royals.

"Prince Philip, otherwise known as the Duke of Edinburgh, was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II".

But lately she has been cutting back, delegating more of her duties to Prince Charles - the next in line to the throne - as well as other members of the royal household. But the queen emphasised his importance in a 1997 speech marking their golden wedding anniversary, saying he "has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years".

Prime Minister Theresa May offered him the whole country's "deepest gratitude and good wishes".

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But she made a sacred vow before God and her people at her 1953 coronation to serve for life, which experts say she considers unbreakable.

The 95-year-old has attended countless British and foreign engagements, as well as being patron or president of nearly 800 organisations.

Despite being at the forefront of the royal family for nearly 70 years and also patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations, he has no clear-cut constitutional role and has admitted struggling to carve out a role for himself as the queen's consort. His official retirement will begin within the last quarter of the year. And while Prince Philip will be taking on a more private life, he will continue to support the queen behind-the-scenes.

They were all carried out in Britain as Queen Elizabeth and the duke have cut down their overseas travel.

But he has been reducing his workload in recent years, and said in 2011 that "I reckon I've done my bit, so I want to enjoy myself a bit now".

Ouside Buckingham Palace, visitors said the prince deserved to put his feet up.

Diane Cole, 76, a retired Briton living in Melbourne, Australia, said: "The thing I like the most is when he. speaks his mind".

Prince Philip to step down from public duties