Prince Philip announces retirement from royal duties

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Despite his reputation for controversial (and sometimes offensive) comments at public engagements, Prince Philip is loved and admired by the public for his willingness to step back and let his wife do her duty.

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

On meeting Prince Philip, he said: "It is something I will remember for the rest of my life". The prince was ill during the holiday period, while the queen, who is 91, was not seen in public for almost a month after missing church services on Christmas Day and New Year's Day because of what Buckingham Palace described as a persistent cold.

He is not expected to disappear completely from the public stage - the palace said he may still choose to attend some events from time to time.

Prince Philip is Patron, President or a member of more than 780 organisations.

"It is clear from the official announcement that Her Majesty is to continue with her royal duties, with support of other members of the Royal Family".

The 95-year-old prince was a picture of good health yesterday in opening the new $50m Warner Stand.

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The former naval officer's devotion to duty and the Queen has endeared him to the nation, though some of his politically incorrect remarks have ruffled feathers. The Duke of Edinburgh and the monarch have been married for 77 years.

The couple, who are due to celebrate their platinum, or 70th, wedding anniversary in November, have been cutting their workload in recent years, passing on many responsibilities to son and heir Prince Charles, and grandsons, Princes William and Harry.

The queen's husband said Thursday he will carry out scheduled engagements for the next few months but won't take on new ones starting in the fall.

The queen is the longest-reigning monarch in British history.

They were all carried out in Britain as Queen Elizabeth and her husband have cut down their overseas travel.

The announcement was made following a meeting of senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace, news of which prompted speculation about the health of the royals.

A story headlined "Prince Philip dead at 95, how did the Duke of Edinburgh die, etc etc" briefly appeared on The Sun website at 8am this morning, prompting a storm of reaction among social media users.