Britain's Prince Philip, 95, to retire from public duties

Buckingham Palace said Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, made the decision to retire with the full support of the queen.

However a well-placed source said there was no cause for concern about the health of the queen or Philip, who turns 96 in June.

The Palace has never been keen on phrases like "slowing down" or "taking a step back" when it comes to the Queen and Prince Philip.

Prince Harry has also commanded considerable attention, most recently by talking openly about emotional problems he dealt with for 20 years after his mother, Princess Diana, died in a vehicle crash in Paris.

The Duke of Edinburgh has suffered from heart disease and other illnesses over recent years but has always maintained a rigorous schedule. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. But he will not be accepting any new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may "choose to attend" certain public events from time to time.

The palace said Philip will continue his role with more than 780 charitable organizations but will not regularly attend engagements.

"I can't stand up much longer", he joked at a reception with the Queen on Thursday.

Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed "our deepest gratitude and good wishes" to Prince Philip following the announcement of his impending retirement, and has thanked him for supporting his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.

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Prince Philip has accompanied the Queen on all major foreign tours, including three visits to India.

The meeting was called somewhat last minute, leading many to fear that some actual emergency was taking place at the palace.

He is not expected to disappear completely from the public stage; the palace said he may still take part in some events from time to time.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1947. He has been by the queen's side during her 65-year reign, and they will celebrate 70 years of marriage in November.

Buckingham Palace says the move is not related to any health issue, the duke will retire in August.

"He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years", Elizabeth said in a very rare personal tribute to Philip during a speech to mark their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.

Members at the event on Thursday included former Australian prime minister John Howard, TV presenter Sir David Attenborough, artist David Hockney, the former Commons speaker Betty Boothroyd and entrepreneur James Dyson.

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