Has Prince Philip Died? Buckingham Palace Say He Is Retiring At 96 But Queen Elizabeth Will Carry On

If you follow the news or social media, you will be aware that Queen Elizabeth, and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, were trending worldwide overnight. According to the Daily Mail, Buckingham Palace took the exceptionally rare action of calling a “top secret” emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace this morning. Palace staff from across the United Kingdom were summoned to Buckingham Palace to meet with Sir Christopher Geidt, a senior member of Queen Elizabeth’s household staff. When news of the extraordinary meeting was leaked to the press, rumors began to circulate suggesting that Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip have died.

Speculation about Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s health is hardly unusual. Prince Philip is, after all, almost 96-years-old, while Queen Elizabeth celebrated her 91st birthday last month. When the entire royal staff was ordered to a meeting in London, and Buckingham Palace leaks said that a major announcement was in the pipeline, then speculation about the Queen and Prince Philip’s health was sure to be at the top of everyone’s list of concerns. As regular royal watchers will be aware, fears for the Queen’s health were raised around Christmas.

The Queen Prince Philip
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As was reported by the Inquisitr at the time, the Queen missed the Christmas church service at Sandringham for the first time in many years. On that occasion, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth was simply resting on doctor’s advice as she had been suffering from a “heavy cold.”

After the Buckingham Palace staff had been briefed this morning, it was announced that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are in good health, but the Duke of Edinburgh is to retire from undertaking official royal engagements this fall.

Buckingham Palace Announces Prince Philip’s Retirement From Public Duties With Queen Elizabeth’s Blessing

Buckingham Palace staff announced Prince Philip’s retirement in a press release, pointing out that Prince Philip had made the decision himself, and he has Queen Elizabeth’s full support.

“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of The Queen.”

“Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen, 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.”

As reported by the Telegraph, Prince Philip is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organizations throughout the UK and the Commonwealth of Nations. The 95-year-old Prince will continue to be associated with those organizations, but he will no longer play such an active role. Given his advanced years, it is hardly surprising that the Prince will take a more low-profile royal role. Younger royals, like Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince Harry will doubtless be expected to increase their workload to compensate for the absence of Prince Philip.

Prince Philip Retires
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Prince Philip’s withdrawal from public life will leave a huge gap to be filled. According to CNN, the Duke of Edinburgh undertook over 200 public engagements during 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family. That is quite a feat for a man fast approaching his 96th birthday.

Prince Philip will undoubtedly be missed by royal watchers as he is certainly the most colorful member of the royal household; famous for his witty quips, and for more than a few royal gaffes.

Queen Elizabeth has also been scaling back the number of royal engagements that she undertakes, passing many of her duties to Prince William, Prince Harry, and Kate Middleton. The Queen will continue to carry out her duties with the assistance of younger members of the royal household.

[Featured Image by Arthur Edward/AP]