Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is retiring from public life. The official announcement came in a statement from Buckingham Palace. The Queen is in full agreement with his decision.
Prince Philip turns 96 next month. He will attend events already on his schedule until August, and won’t accept new invitations. He attended a royal lunch with the Queen after announcing the retirement. “I’m sorry to hear you’re standing down,” one attendee said according to the BBC. “Well I can’t stand up much,” the Duke replied. According to the Palace, the Queen will carry on with a full schedule of functions.
The duke is patron of over 780 organizations. He will continue his association with them, but “will no longer play an active role by attending engagements,” Buckingham Palace said in its official statement. He attended 110 days of engagements throughout 2016. A variety of events remain on his schedule from the Royal Windsor Horse Show (May 14) to hosting a state visit by Spain’s King Felipe.
The duke, and the Queen mark their 70th wedding anniversary this November. He has attended 22,191 functions since 1952. Prince Philip is following his own advice. It was “better to get out before you reach your sell-by-date,” he told the BBC six years ago. There are no health considerations behind his retirement.