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.
A six-year-old girl named Maisie Gregory was hit in the face by a saluting soldier after she met Queen Elizabeth II in Cardiff.
The Queen was presented with a posy by Maisie as part of a regimental tradition.
Dressed in a traditional Welsh costume, and giving an adorably wobbly curtsy, Maisie Gregory performed her bouquet-giving duties to perfection. But she had reckoned without the private standing next to her. As the Queen walked out of the Millennium Stadium, a uniformed army private raised his gloved hand enthusiastically to salute the monarch, and caught Maisie in the face.
The accident happened as the Queen honored The Royal Welsh with new colors during a ceremony at the Millennium Stadium.
Maisie’s father, Regimental Sergeant Major Martin Gregory, said his daughter has since seen the funny side.
Martin Gregory said: “She was a little bit upset but I let her wear my hat and carry my sword. She was soon cheerful and she’s running around now.”
Queen Elizabeth II is having health problems as she shows early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a Globe Magazine report.
Queen Elizabeth, 88, has long been subject to rumors and speculation. The same magazine reported late last year that the queen was suffering continuous shortness of breath, and that doctors didn’t really know what was wrong with her.
The report even claimed that the Queen informed Kate Middleton to make sure her funeral arrangements were ready because she could die at any time.
The new report from Globe Magazine says that the queen is actually fighting Alzheimer’s disease.
“The palace is desperately trying to hide the new health crisis Queen Elizabeth is facing–the 88-year-old monarch is reportedly showing the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease,” the magazine reported in the cover story of its October 20 edition.
Queen Elizabeth II is reportedly having health problems as she shows early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (photo Getty Images)
The Queen has been found wandering “lost and confused” in the palace garden, the tabloid claims.
She also can’t remember the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and she has mistaken her son Prince Charles for her husband Prince Philip, it says.
Sources told the magazine that that queen has multiple symptoms and that some fear that Prince Charles’ wife Camilla Parker-Bowles, with whom the queen reportedly has an ongoing feud, will try to take advantage of the queen’s plight.
The claim that the Queen has Alzheimer’s is unverified, though the royal has acknowledged her failing health recently.
She began handing over power to Prince Charles earlier this year leading up to her birthday, having him take on more head of state-style responsibilities as the Palace starts to make tentative plans for his eventual succession, the Daily Mirror reported.
One sign of the historic “job-share” agreement with Prince Charles, a first for the royals, was the merging of their press offices.
“This is about passing the baton to the next generation. The Prince of Wales’s diary is chock-full. Even he realizes with the best will in the world he can’t go on like that. This is not going to be a sudden shift. It is a gradual process which will be borne out over the next few years. It’s a gentle succession,” one aide said.
“It’s important to note that the Queen is still working very hard. Every day you see her with the red box of Government papers and giving audiences.
“Charles will be doing less of his campaigning and the things he likes to do and more of the head of state role.
“While the Queen is still in excellent health, she is inevitably becoming a little more frail because of her age. Charles and Camilla will be doing much more of the public work on her behalf.”
Prince Charles and courtiers have been studying the Regency Act, which would enable him to take over the throne even if Queen Elizabeth is still alive.
Britain’s last regency happened in the early 1800s, when King George III’s mental illness left him unable to carry out his duties, prompting his son, George IV, to be given his father’s powers under the Regency Act.
Prince Charles became the longest serving heir to the throne in April 2011, beating Edward VIII’s record of 59 years, two months, and 13 days.
Queen Elizabeth II has released for the first time an intimate footage of her as a young child.
In the previously unseen films, the Queen is seen dancing, racing, swimming and pillow fighting with her family.
Movies of the royals as you’ve never seen them before are the highlight of a new exhibition inside Buckingham Palace this summer.
The Royal Childhood Exhibition features footage shot by the family themselves of the Queen as a little girl and as a young mother playing with her own children.
The Royal Childhood Exhibition features footage shot by the family themselves of the Queen as a little girl
The film footage shows the young Princess Elizabeth enjoying performing dance routines with her sister Margaret and they are shown a number of times performing.
In one clip they are seen dancing on a wall at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, and in another wearing matching green dresses and moving in unison as a pet corgi watches intently.
A pillow fight is also captured on film with the Queen and her sister playfully attacking family friend Arthur Penn.
Also on display is a cupboard door featuring pencil markings recording the height of royal children, from Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret to Charles, Anne and Andrew.
On June 13, 1936, the 10-year-old future Queen was recorded as 4ft 4ins tall, while Princess Margaret, aged 6, stood at 3ft 6ins and quarter.
From July 25, tourists paying £19.75 ($31.6) will be able to walk through the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace where more than 150 objects relating to 25 royal children from George IV in 1763 to today’s baby Prince George are on view.
Clothes, toys, prams, cots, schoolbooks and even a children’s caravan give an insight into the ordinary and extraordinary life of royals including Princes William, Harry and Charles.
Presents given to Prince George are also on display, including a rocking horse, polo mallet and blue Alpaca wool blanket given to him on his birth a year ago by President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.
Prince George’s christening robe, the program of his christening and the silver-gilt Lilt Font he was baptized with last October are also on display, along with the easel that announced his birth.
Queen Elizabeth II popped up in the background as two Australian Commonwealth Games hockey players were posing for a selfie.
Jayde Taylor, 29, posted the picture on Twitter saying: “Ahhh The Queen photo-bombed our selfie!! #royalty #sheevensmiled #amazing.”
Queen Elizabeth II popped up in the background as two Australian Commonwealth Games hockey players were posing for a selfie (photo Twitter/Jayde Taylo)
That led to a series of other postings on social networks with England’s European and Commonwealth 110m hurdles champion Andy Turner, 33, and another Australia hockey player, Anna Flanagan, 22, uploading similar images.
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.
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girls’ education campaigner who has found international fame since being shot by Taliban militants last year, met with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen and Prince Philip invited the young activist to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time.
Malala Yousafzai, who was accompanied by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, presented the Queen with a copy of her newly published memoir, titled I am Malala.
“It’s nice to meet you and it’s a great honor coming here, and I wanted to present you my book,” Malala Yousafzai said when she met the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth responded: “That’s very kind of you. Thank you very much indeed.”
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip invited Malala Yousafzai to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time
Malala Yousafzai, 16, said she hoped the two could work together to make sure all children receive an education, not just in Pakistan, but in the UK, too.
“I hope that we will all work together for the education of every child, and especially in this country as well, because I have heard about many children that cannot go to school,” said the Queen.
“So I hope that we will continue our work on youth empowerment.”
Prince Philip made a joke about children and education when meeting Malala Yousafzai at the palace.
“It’s one thing about children going to school,” he said, “they go to school because their parents don’t want them in the house.”
In an interview with CNN last week, Malala Yousafzai joked that she was going “because it’s the order of the Queen, it’s the command.”
Malala Yousafzai has been based in Britain since she was rushed there for major surgery after the Taliban shot her in the head in her native Pakistan because of her efforts to promote girls’ education.
Last Friday, as the world marked the International Day of the Girl, Malala Yousafzai met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.
After Kate Middleton gives birth to the royal baby, Prince William’s first call will be to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, on an encrypted phone.
At the same time, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton will inform PM David Cameron and a small number of other highly placed individuals, including the Archbishop of Canterbury.
After Kate Middleton gives birth to the royal baby, Prince William’s first call will be to the Queen on an encrypted phone
Back at Buckingham Palace, officials will notify the head of each of the 54 Commonwealth countries and the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For the public, an official notice announcing the birth will be placed in a glass-fronted easel and attached to the gates of the Palace.
Within minutes, depending on the time of day, a 41-gun salute will ring out in Hyde Park. Visitors will then begin turning up at St Mary’s Hospital.
The Middletons are likely to take centre-stage along with Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.
Friends and other relatives will be encouraged to wait to see the baby when it gets home.
A source said the Queen will wait for the “baby to be brought to her”.
And although he or she will one day wear the crown, the baby will start out life wearing just a humble name tag inscribed with the name “Baby Cambridge”.
The UK ambassador to Argentina has been summoned to explain to officials in Buenos Aires why part of Antarctica has been renamed in honor of Queen Elizabeth.
John Freeman was handed a formal protest note “strongly rejecting” the UK’s claim to a piece of land known as the British Antarctic Territory.
The southern section was named Queen Elizabeth Land by Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday.
The note claimed the area was part of the Argentine Antarctic sector.
It stated that the Argentine government “strongly rejected” Britain’s right to rename the area.
Queen Elizabeth Land – which at 169,000 sq miles is almost twice the size of the UK – was previously unnamed, according to the British Foreign Office.
The UK ambassador to Argentina has been summoned to explain to officials in Buenos Aires why part of Antarctica has been renamed in honor of Queen Elizabeth
The UK first staked claim to the British Antarctic Territory in 1908. However, both Argentina and Chile insist they have prior claims to large areas of the same land.
The British Antarctic Survey has three scientific research bases in the territory and the Royal Navy’s ice patrol vessel HMS Protector is stationed in the area for part of the year.
The 1959 Antarctic Treaty between 12 nations including Britain and Argentina, outlawed the establishment of new territorial claims in the Antarctic, but stated that it did not reject existing claims.
The Foreign Office said on Tuesday there was a precedent for naming parts of the continent after members of the British royal family.
East Antarctica is home to Princess Elizabeth Land, named after the Queen before she took the throne, and in 2006 an unnamed mountain range in the Antarctic peninsula was named the Princess Royal Range in tribute to the Queen’s daughter.
Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter, will not only look the part at the upcoming London Olympic Games, she will be living like her fellow competitors, too.
Zara Phillips, Princess Anne’s daughter, is to be given no special treatment, it has emerged, staying in the Olympic village and sharing the same security and transport as other athletes.
On Monday, Zara Phillips, 31, told of her excitement at the prospect of rubbing shoulders with the likes of Usain Bolt during her stay.
Zara Phillips, who missed out on two previous Olympics due to injuries to her horse, promised to give her “best performance” in front of a home crowd in London.
Zara Phillips, Queen Elizabeth’s granddaughter, will not only look the part at the upcoming London Olympic Games, she will be living like her fellow competitors, too
She said: “Obviously it will be great to be part of the Olympics and get the atmosphere and the buzz of being a part of it.
“A lot of the time, the equestrian is quite far out so they’ve made a really big effort this time to try and have us part of the Olympics and benefit from that.”
Zara Phillips, who will ride as part of the five-strong eventing team at Greenwich Park, around six miles from the main Olympic park, said Her Majesty had been delighted when she told her that she had made the Olympic team.
The former sports personality of the year missed out on Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 after her then horse, Toytown, suffered late injuries.
“I’m keeping my fingers crossed because we’ve still got a few weeks to go and we all know what horses are like,” she said.
Equestrian performance director Will Connell said the eventing team would stay in the Olympic village – and was adamant their royal member would be well protected by the security put in place by Olympics organizers.
What is Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee? The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee marks 60 years since her accession in 1952. Royal Jubilees celebrate significant periods in monarchs’ reigns and national life. In 2012, The Queen will become only the second UK monarch to mark 60 years on the throne. Celebrations were previously held for Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Golden Jubilee in 2002.
When exactly is The Queen marking her Diamond Jubilee?
While Accession Day is on 6 February, celebrations will occur throughout 2012, with a special extended bank holiday central weekend in the United Kingdom on 2-5 June.
What events will take place over this bank holiday central weekend? On Saturday 2 June, The Queen will attend the Epsom Derby. On Sunday 3 June the Big Jubilee Lunch and the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant will take place. On Monday 4 June a concert will be held at Buckingham Palace and a network of beacons will be lit throughout the UK and the Commonwealth. On Tuesday 5 June a Service of Thanksgiving will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral, which will be followed by a formal carriage Procession.
Will there be events at other times during the year? There will be many other events held locally and on a national scale. For example, in May 2012 a Diamond Jubilee Pageant will be held, as part of the Windsor Horse Show, involving equine displays and other acts from around the world.
For more information and news on Jubilee events and activities, please visit www.direct.gov.uk/diamondjubilee or see national and local media as further details are announced.
I would like to organise an event in my local area. Whom do I contact? People should make contact with the appropriate organisations or representatives – for example, one of the organisations involved with the central weekend, Lord Lieutenancies and local authorities.
Will Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee be marked in other Realm countries? Her Majesty is Queen in 15 Commonwealth Realms in addition to the United Kingdom. The British Monarchy and UK Government websites will carry details only for those events and celebrations taking place in the United Kingdom. More details will be available elsewhere about activities taking place in Her Majesty’s other Realms.
B. Central Jubilee Weekend Events
Big Jubilee Lunch I would like to organise a street party or Big Jubilee Lunch. Who should I contact for more information? The Big Jubilee Lunch is being organised by the Big Lunch, which is part of the Eden Project. It will be held on Sunday 3 June 2012. For more information please see www.thebiglunch.com or contact email@example.com
Thames Pageant From where can I watch the Pageant? Details about where spectators can view the Pageant will be announced by the organisers in due course. Please see http://www.thamesdiamondjubileepageant.org/ for more details.
Can I get tickets to be on a boat sailing in the flotilla? Further details about the Pageant will be announced on the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant website in due course.
Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace When is the concert? The Queen is hosting a concert organised by the BBC at Buckingham Palace on Monday 4 June.
Can I apply for tickets? Details of how to apply for an invitation to the Concert will be announced in early 2012. Successful applicants, chosen by ballot, will be notified in writing.
Can I perform during the concert? The content of the concert will be decided by the BBC.
The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Beacons Can I light a Beacon? Details of how to take part in Beacon lighting ceremonies are available on www.diamondjubileebeacons.co.uk
When will the Beacons be lit? The Queen will light the National Beacon on Monday 4 June. Further details about the lighting of Beacons will be announced by Diamond Jubilee Beacons Ltd.
Ceremonial Procession Will there be a ceremonial procession to or from the Service of Thanksgiving, and if so, from where can I watch it? There will be a formal carriage procession but details of the routes to and from the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral will be announced closer to the time and published on the Monarchy website.
C. Commemorative Articles
Can I produce Diamond Jubilee Souvenirs? The Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace produces definitive guidelines on the use of the Royal Arms, Royal Devices, Emblems and Titles and of photographs, portraits, engravings, effigies and busts of The Queen and Members of the Royal Family.
Where can I find the Official Diamond Jubilee Emblem? The Official Diamond Jubilee Emblem is based on an illustration by 10 year-old Katherine Dewar who won a BBC Blue Peter competition. It is available to download, free of charge from the Monarchy website and comes in a number of electronic formats; in English and in Welsh; and in colour, black and white and whiteout.
Where can I use the Emblem? The emblem is available for use for activities associated with the Diamond Jubilee celebrations including community and national events, publications, retail and merchandising.
Unofficial Publications As you would expect, the Royal Household takes seriously any reports of individuals or organisations using the Jubilee to raise money in an inappropriate or unauthorised manner. If you are invited to donate money to “official publications”, please write to The Queen’s Assistant Private Secretary, at Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA.
D. Use of The Queen’s title, name and emblems
Can I name something after The Queen or the Diamond Jubilee? As is customary in Jubilee years, the Deputy Prime Minister and the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales have been given discretion to sanction the use of The Queen’s title and name. A blanket approval is in place for the use of “Diamond Jubilee” and “Jubilee” for community events and buildings (subject to the proviso that building works start or finish in 2012, and events take place in 2012). Permission need not be sought for the use of the titles “Diamond Jubilee” and “Jubilee” in these circumstances.
Applications to use “The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee”, “Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee” and “Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee” must be submitted in writing. Applications in respect of England, Northern Ireland or any of the Crown Dependencies – Parliament and Constitution Division of the Cabinet Office; applications in respect of Scotland or Wales where responsibility for the subject of the application remains with the UK Government – to the Scotland Office and Wales Office respectively.
Can I use an image of the Crown or The Queen’s Cypher (EIIR) for my Jubilee event/project? Applications to use an image of the Crown, The Queen’s Cypher (EIIR) or Her Majesty’s Coat of Arms must be submitted to the Constitutional and Policy team in the Parliament and Constitution Division of the Cabinet Office.
E. Invitations to Visit
Will The Queen or other Members of the Royal Family be visiting my local area in 2012? The Queen’s Programme and details of where other Members of the Royal Family will visit will be announced in 2012. Please continue to check the Monarchy website for updates.
I would like to invite The Queen to my Diamond Jubilee event. How do I do this? The Queen will be extraordinarily busy during her Diamond Jubilee and it will not be possible for her to accept all of the many invitations she will receive. However, if you wish to invite Her Majesty to an event please write to The Queen’s Diary Secretary at Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA.
I would like to compose a piece of music for The Queen for her Diamond Jubilee. Can I perform or dedicate it to Her Majesty? We have been overwhelmed by generous offers to compose or perform pieces of music in celebration of Her Majesty’s Jubilee next year and while there would of course be no objection to musical events of this nature taking place, it will not be possible to associate The Queen directly with these events.
How do I find out more information about Diamond Jubilee projects and events between now and next year? For those events listed above and taking place over the Jubilee central weekend, please see their individual websites for more details as they are announced. Alternatively, the Government DirectGov website will be updated with further news and announcements as they occur.
Queen Sofia of Spain has cancelled her visit to the UK for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee because of disputes over Gibraltar.
A Spanish government statement said it was “hardly appropriate” for Queen Sofia, 73, to attend a lunch on Friday.
The UK and Spain have been in dispute over fishing rights off Gibraltar, a UK territory which Spain also claims.
Spain has also protested over a visit to Gibraltar by Queen Elizabeth’s son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie.
Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex are to visit Gibraltar on 11-13 June as part of the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign.
Queen Sofia of Spain has cancelled her visit to the UK for Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee because of disputes over Gibraltar
Spain continues to claim sovereignty over Gibraltar, which has been ruled by Britain since 1713 under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht.
Queen Sofia’s husband, King Juan Carlos, had already declined his invitation to the lunch at Windsor Castle on Friday.
He is recovering from surgery last month after he fell and broke his hip while hunting elephants in Botswana.
In 1981, the Spanish royal couple declined an invitation to Prince Charles’ wedding to Diana, Princess of Wales because they planned to visit Gibraltar as part of their honeymoon.
And a visit by Princess Anne to Gibraltar in 2009 sparked an official complaint from the Spanish government.
An additional cause of unhappiness for the Spanish royal household is the fact that the British regimental band of Gibraltar will be performing at the Diamond Jubilee, reports the Spanish news agency Efe.
A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office told the AFP news agency: “The visit was a private commitment and we don’t comment on private visits.”