The Duke of Edinburgh has announced his retirement from public duty.

Prince Philip, aged 95, will be stepping down from his duties in the autumn this year.

A statement released by Buckingham Palace said: 'His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh, will no longer carry out public engagements.

'He has the full support of Her Majesty The Queen.'

'A happy retirement'

HM Queen Elizabeth II will continue her visual public engagements with other members of the British Royal Family, including Prince William and Prince Harry.

It remains unclear how much more responsibility Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will take on in Prince Philip's absence.

Advertisements
Advertisements

However, Princess Kate is believed to be already doing more as the Duke of Edinburgh has passed on many of his responsibilities to her.

The Prince Consort will carry out many engagements that he has committed himself to in advance, such as the Trooping of the Colour in June.

Prime Minister Theresa May offered her deepest gratitude and good wishes to the Duke.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn paid tribute to his service to the country.

Former journalist and author Evelyn Pollard said the Prince has been 'a magnificent consort.'

She praised him on Sky News for his insight into the future, particularly with his fascination into the emergence of digital journalism.

She wished him a happy retirement.

'Never known anything this serious'

An emergency meeting was held last night by Buckingham Palace, but the purpose behind the meeting was disclosed at the time.

Advertisements

An announcement on the stated intention behind the gathering was announced for 8am this morning.

However, the official confirmation of the Prince's retirement was delayed until two hours later.

The Palace were quick to play down suggestions that a member of the Royal Family had died prior to the official statement.

Despite this, members of Clarence House, the official residence of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, were called to the meeting.

This led to speculations that something serious had happened.

A source from the Palace said they have never known anything this serious in all their time working there.

There were many speculations on social media about the secret reason behind the meeting.

True Labour tweeted: 'The Queen is stepping down and Theresa May will be your monarch. It's the only way to get the mandate she needs ##buckinghampalace.'

Renee Fuller also tweeted before the announcement: 'CONFIRMED: Nothing has been confirmed #buckinghampalace.'

But Conservative MP James Cleverly tweeted: 'Dear serious media, please don't report guesswork as news.

Advertisements

I can guess unaided. I turn to you for facts, not speculation #buckinghampalace.'

'I don't think a prostitute is more than a moral wife'

The Prince Consort has earned fame over the years for many of his off-the-cuff remarks, including: 'I don't think a prostitute is more than a moral wife, but they are doing the same thing.'

Prince Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families on June 10th 1921. He was born in Greece, but his family were exiled from the country.

He is a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderberg-Glucksberg.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1939, aged 13, when he began dating Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934.

During the Second World War, he served in the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets.

He became a British subject and adopted the name Mountbatten after receiving permission from King George VI to marry Princess Elizabeth.

He then married her on 20 November 1947, and the couple is due to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary this year.

When George VI unexpectedly died in 1952, Philip had to sacrifice his career in the Royal Navy to serve as Prince Consort after Princess Elizabeth became Queen much sooner than expected.

They then went on to have four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

He is a patron to over 800 different organisations and founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme for people aged 14 to 24.

He is the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest member of the Royal Family. #princephilip #dukeofedinburgh