Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, is retiring from royal duties this autumn, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The decision was made by the Duke of Edinburgh himself and is supported by the Queen, a palace spokesman said.
Prince Philip, who turns 96 next month, will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August but will not accept new invitations.
The Queen “will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements”, the palace said.
Prince Philip carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, according to Court Circular listings.
Image source Wikimedia
The duke is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organizations and will continue to be associated with them, but “will no longer play an active role by attending engagements”, Buckingham Palace said.
In the statement, the palace spokesman said the duke “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time”.
Prince Philip attended Lord’s Cricket Ground to open a new stand on Wednesday and was heard joking at the event that he is the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.
He is famed for off-the-cuff remarks he has made at royal engagements around the world over the years.
PM Theresa May said she offered the UK’s “deepest gratitude and good wishes” to the duke following his announcement.
She added: “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.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wished the duke “all the best in his well-earned retirement”, saying: “He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty.
“His Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations.”
Prince Philip set up the awards in 1956 and they have become one of the UK’s best-known youth programs, with young people carrying out challenges to earn bronze, silver or gold awards.
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, have met cast and production members from Game of Thrones during a tour of the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Game of Thrones series is partly filmed in the city’s Titanic Quarter, and is a focal point for Northern Ireland’s burgeoning film industry.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were presented with a miniature version of the infamous Iron Throne, which appears in Game of Thrones
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh began their second day of engagements at Crumlin Road Gaol in north Belfast.
They are on a three-day visit to Northern Ireland.
As well as meeting cast and production staff, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were also given a short overview of the series and the impact it has had on Northern Ireland, not only in terms of employment, but also in the creative arts field.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip also viewed some of the props that have featured in Game Thrones.
Before leaving, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were presented with a miniature version of the infamous Iron Throne, which appears in the series.
Prince Philip has been finally introduced to his great-grandson, Prince George, for the first time since his birth in July.
The eight-week-old future king flew to Scotland on a private jet with his parents yesterday afternoon.
Prince George was taken to Balmoral, the Queen’s private Highland estate, to meet Prince Philip, 92.
Prince Charles and Camilla are at their nearby home, Birkhall.
Prince Philip was the only senior royal not to have met the third in line to the throne.
Prince Philip has been finally introduced to his great-grandson, Prince George, for the first time since his birth in July
At the time of Prince George’s birth he was recuperating at Sandringham after an abdominal operation.
Now Prince George is at Balmoral, there is a rare opportunity for a unique family photo to be taken.
For the first time in more than a century, three generations of heirs to the throne are alive: Prince Charles, 64, Prince William, 31, and newborn George.
The last time such a picture was taken was in 1894 when Queen Victoria was photographed with her son Edward VII, grandson George V and great grandson Edward VIII.
A royal insider said: “Everyone has been waiting for this photo to be taken, and of course the Duke of Edinburgh has been looking forward to seeing his great-grandson.
“It’s wonderful that the family have finally got together.”
Prince William and Kate Middleton flew to Scotland after the prince attended the wedding of friend James Meade to Lady Laura Marsham in Norfolk on Saturday.
Kate Middleton had surprisingly stayed in London where she was spotted shopping for baby clothes in Sloane Square.
Prince Philip has been admitted to hospital for an exploratory operation, Buckingham Palace has said.
The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to the London Clinic “following abdominal investigations” and is expected to stay in the hospital for up to two weeks.
The operation will take place on Friday under general anaesthetic. It is a planned, not an emergency, admittance.
Prince Philip, who will be 92 on 10 June, pulled out of an official engagement earlier this week.
In the past week, the duke has been having unannounced “abdominal investigations” at the hospital in central London, said BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt.
The Palace said in a statement that “further updates will be issued when appropriate”.
On Monday, Prince Philip pulled out of an engagement for the Royal National Institute of Blind People after becoming unwell ahead of last week’s service marking 60 years since the Queen’s coronation.
Prince Philip attended the service at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday and was present at a garden party attended by the Queen at Buckingham Palace on Thursday afternoon.
Guests said he gave no signs of being unwell.
Prince Philip was driven to the clinic after the party and walked in unaided.
Prince Philip has been admitted to hospital for an exploratory operation
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “He is in very good health.”
She added: “He felt unwell on Monday and missed an engagement, but that was down to the fact he had temporarily lost his voice.”
A Palace spokesman at the London Clinic described the Duke of Edinburgh as being in good spirits.
The spokesman stressed it was not an emergency admission and the decision was taken by the duke’s doctors to carry out the exploratory operation after investigations and tests last week.
Police officers were standing guard outside the hospital ahead of Philip’s operation.
In April, Buckingham Palace played down fears about the Duke of Edinburgh’s health after he was pictured with purplish skin round his eye in Canada. It said he did not fall and simply woke up with the discoloration.
Prince Philip, 91, has been admitted to hospital three other times in the past two years after suffering health scares.
In August 2012, he was treated at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for a bladder infection.
The Duke of Edinburgh spent four days in hospital over Christmas 2011, following an operation to clear a blocked heart artery.
After attending events to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June, he was admitted to hospital for five nights missing several days of festivities after sustaining a bladder infection.
Writing on Twitter, PM David Cameron said: “My best wishes to the Duke of Edinburgh who is in hospital tonight. I hope he has a swift recovery.”
On Friday, Prince Philip was due to accompany the Queen when she officially opens the BBC’s New Broadcasting House building in central London. The Queen will now undertake the visit alone.
Prince Philip was at the Queen’s side at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday for the coronation service and on Wednesday toured a Victorian steamship, the SS Robin, in London’s East End.
Ahead of the garden party, Queen Elizabeth II invested her husband with New Zealand’s highest honor to mark the Diamond Jubilee making him an additional member of the Order of New Zealand.
The Duke of Edinburgh would miss the Trooping the Colour parade on June 15, marking the Queen’s official birthday.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for a bladder infection.
Prince Philip, 91, spent five nights at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary – his third hospital stay in nine months.
The duke was taken to hospital on Wednesday during the royals’ annual summer break at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire.
It is not yet known if he will be fit to attend the Paralympics opening ceremony with the Queen on 29 August.
It was a low-key exit and he looked extremely relaxed, shaking hands with the doctors and nurses involved in treating him.
Prince Philip has been discharged from hospital after receiving treatment for a bladder infection
Denise Webster, a senior staff nurse, told reporters: “The duke was a very good patient, and as he left the hospital he told staff to behave themselves and he said he was going back to enjoy the rest of his holiday.”
Prince Philip has now rejoined the rest of the Royal Family at Balmoral.
Buckingham Palace had described his admission to hospital as a “precautionary measure” after the recurrence of an infection he suffered shortly before the Diamond Jubilee concert on 4 June.
The duke missed the Royal Family’s visit to morning service at Crathie Kirk on Sunday, before spending a fifth night at the NHS hospital, where he was seen by private physicians.
Doctors told the duke to rest and he did not receive any visitors during his latest stay in hospital, however his family are said to have been in contact by phone.
In June, the duke spent five nights in hospital with a bladder infection following the Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames.
He missed some of the key celebrations for the Queen’s 60-year reign, including the star-studded Jubilee concert.
Prince Philip, who is the longest-serving royal consort in British royalty, also spent four nights in hospital over Christmas following an operation to clear a blocked heart artery.
In March, Prince Harry said the operation – which was successful – had given his grandfather a “new spurt of life”.
The duke went to Balmoral after attending several Olympic events, including the opening ceremony, and he also saw his granddaughter Zara Phillips’ Olympic equestrian debut.
Last week Prince Philip was said to be in good spirits when he took part in events as part of Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight.
Prince Philip has been taken to hospital as a “precautionary measure” after a recurrence of a bladder infection, Buckingham Palace has said.
The Duke of Edinburgh, who is 91, was driven by ambulance to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while staying at Balmoral with the Queen, a spokesperson said.
The duke originally suffered the infection shortly before the Diamond Jubilee concert on 4 June.
Prince Philip is likely to remain in the NHS hospital for the next few days
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are at their private residence of Birkhall on the Balmoral Estate, while the Earl and Countess of Wessex are at Balmoral with the Queen.
It is not known whether other royals are there, but a palace spokesman said it was usual for members of the royal family to be in residence at Balmoral during the summer period.
Prince Philip has been taken to hospital as a "precautionary measure" after a recurrence of a bladder infection
The duke has been seen at public engagements in Cowes over the last few days.
Michael Dunkason, from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, saw him come ashore from the Galatea to Cowes at about 09:00 BST on Wednesday morning. He said Philip was “steadily walking up the steps and walked briskly along the jetty”.
He said: “The duke seemed in very good spirits and gave a final wave before entering the car.”
It is the third time Prince Philip has been in hospital in the last nine months: he also spent four days in hospital over Christmas, following an operation to clear a blocked heart artery.
In March, Prince Harry said the operation – which was successful – had given his grandfather a “new spurt of life”.
Later, in June, after braving the elements during the Jubilee boat pageant to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign, Prince Philip was forced to miss several days of festivities after being admitted to hospital for five nights with the bladder infection.
Since then he has been in apparently good health, joining the Queen at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics on 27 July, and touring the Olympic Park.
Prince Philip had travelled to Balmoral after viewing a number of Olympic events, including his granddaughter Zara Phillips’s equestrian competition on 29 July.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “He has been resident at the castle for a short while, but whilst he has been there, he has also undertaken engagements on the Isle of Wight.”
As Admiral and member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the duke has been taking part in Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight this week.
On Tuesday, he watched races in the Solent and accompanied Lord-Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight, Major General Martin White, for a lunch on board a yacht.
The previous day, he also met members of Newport’s Chamber of Commerce and visited manufacturers AJ Wells and Sons.
Earlier this month, he was at the Queen’s side for engagements in Scotland, helping to host a garden party for around 3,000 guests at Balmoral, marking the end of the Jubilee celebrations.
Prince Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British royalty.
In the Queen’s Jubilee address to Parliament in March, she praised her husband for his devotion.
She said: “During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure.
“Prince Philip is, I believe, well known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.”
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew have visited Prince Philip in the London hospital where he is being treated for a bladder infection.
Earlier, Buckingham Palace said Duke of Edinburgh’s condition had “improved considerably” but he was likely to stay in the King Edward VII Hospital for a few days.
Prince Philip, 90, has spent two nights in hospital, missing the end of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the duke was in “good spirits”.
The duke was admitted to hospital on Monday, hours before the Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew have visited Prince Philip in the London hospital where he is being treated for a bladder infection
On Wednesday, the Queen attended a lunch with Commonwealth leaders, as she continued to mark 60 years of her reign.
Prime Minister David Cameron was among the 70 guests at the lunch, at Marlborough House on Pall Mall.
The engagement saw a protest by some members of the UK’s Tamil community, as Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived. They were demonstrating about the country’s record on human rights.
The duke, who had treatment for a blocked coronary artery in December, turns 91 on Sunday.
A palace spokesman said earlier: “The treatment of his infection continues with antibiotics.
“He is likely to remain in hospital over the next few days. He is in good spirits.”
The Queen arrived at the hospital, in central London, at 17:10 BST and left at 17:55. The Duke of York left the hospital at about 18:40 BST.
Prince Andrew told reporters that his father was “mending very well”.
Meanwhile, the Prince of Wales, who earlier opened a sheep industry show in Scotland, told well-wishers the duke was “doing well”.
Dorothea Holland, 60, from Stranraer in Galloway, said she asked Prince Charles how the duke was.
“He said he was doing well and thanked me for asking. He just said it was a shame that he hadn’t been able to take part yesterday, and said they had all had a very busy few days,” she said.
On Tuesday, the Earl of Wessex, his youngest son, said the duke was “feeling better” and had been watching the Jubilee events on television.
Asked how the Queen was coping without her husband, Prince Edward added: “She’s bearing up but missing him, obviously.”
As well as the concert, which saw performances from artists including Stevie Wonder and Sir Paul McCartney, the duke missed the national service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday.
In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury said “our prayers and thoughts” are with the duke.
The service was followed by receptions at Mansion House and the Guildhall, a lunch at Westminster Hall and a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace, then by a balcony appearance by the Queen, the Royal Family and a flypast.
Buckingham Palace said Prince Philip was “understandably disappointed” about missing the rest of the celebrations.
On Tuesday evening the Queen released video message to the nation, describing the four days of celebration as a “humbling experience”.
“It has touched me deeply to see so many thousands of families, neighbors and friends celebrating together in such a happy atmosphere,” the Queen said.