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Duke of Edinburgh to stop all public engagements by autumn

09 May 2017

Rumors of illness and death circulated, but it turns out her 95-year-old husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh will step down from all royal duties.

Prince Philip still has scheduled appointments to make between now and his official retirement in August, many of them accompanying the Queen, and plans to fulfill those obligations.

Despite rumors surrounding the announcement, a Buckingham Palace spokesman assured citizens there was "no cause for alarm" when it came to the health of Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip, the Independent reported.

After the Buckingham Palace staff had been briefed this morning, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are in good health, but the Duke of Edinburgh is to retire from undertaking official royal engagements this fall.

The Duke has the full support of the Queen, it said.

However, a royal aide stressed he would continue to attend royal events and not completely disappear from public life, adding: "He's looking forward to enjoying more of his leisure time".

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

From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth (his third cousin through Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and second cousin once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark), whom he had first met in 1934.

Mass panic engulfed worldwide media as word of "an emergency meeting" trickled out of Buckingham Palace in the wee hours of Thursday morning (local time), but fears were allayed by Prince Philip's announcement.

Despite being one of the most influential figures in the royal family for nearly 70 years, he has no clear-cut constitutional role and has admitted struggling to carve out a role for himself as the queen's consort.

"Well, I can't stand up much longer", Philip replied.

Despite his reputation for controversial (and sometimes offensive) comments at public engagements, Prince Philip is loved and admired by the public for his willingness to step back and let his wife do her duty. The prince, who's 95 and has been by Queen Elizabeth's side during her 65-year reign, will stop accepting public engagements from September.

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Prince Philip's withdrawal from public life will leave a huge gap to be filled.

Elizabeth and Philip celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November.

She said it was time for the younger royals to step into the spotlight.

On behalf of the Canadian government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked him for his decades of service and wished him "all the best in his retirement".

The Queen - dressed in a fuchsia outfit with matching hat, a black bag, gloves and shoes - spoke to the then new Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Norman Critchley, while Prince Philip poked fun at Sean Harriss, council chief executive at the time.

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