Britain’s Theresa May pays tribute to Prince Philip – Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip will retire from carrying out royal engagements from the autumn.
Theresa May and Prince Philip
Prime Minister Theresa May paid tribute on Thursday to Prince Philip for his contribution to Britain and beyond, his “steadfast support” of Queen Elizabeth and for his patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes.
“On behalf of the whole country, I want to offer our deepest gratitude and good wishes to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s announcement that he will stand down from public duties in the Autumn,” she said in a statement.
Prince Philip will retire from carrying out royal engagements from the autumn, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday, ending more than six decades of active public life. Philip, who is also known as the Duke of Edinburgh and has sometimes drawn attention with headline-grabbing gaffes, has been by the queen’s side throughout her 65 years on the throne and she has described him as “my strength and stay”.
“Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen,” the palace said in a statement. “Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.”
The queen, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch who celebrated her 91st birthday in April, will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements, the statement added. Polls show Elizabeth, who ascended to the throne in 1952, remains hugely popular among Britons.
The announcement of Philip’s retirement was made following a meeting of all senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace, news of which prompted media speculation about the health of the royals.
However, a well-placed source said there was no cause for concern about the welfare of the queen or Philip, who turns 96 next month. The couple, who married at Westminster Abbey in 1947, are due to celebrate their platinum, or 70th, wedding anniversary in November.
They have both been cutting their workload in recent years, passing on many responsibilities to son and heir Prince Charles, and grandsons, Princes William and Harry.
Philip conducted 184 official engagements in the year to March 2016, official figures show. On Wednesday he opened a new stand at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, while the queen met Prime Minister Theresa May to formally agree to the dissolution of parliament ahead of a June 8 election.