Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will retire from all royal duties this fall.


Philip, 95, made the decision himself to step away with the full support of his wife. The Duke of Edinburgh has suffered from heart disease and other illnesses over recent years but has always maintained a rigorous schedule. “I can’t stand up much longer,” he joked at a reception with the Queen on Thursday.

Since they wed in 1947, the Prince has made more than 22,000 solo appearances, not to mention thousands more standing beside his wife. A member of the Greek royal family in exile, he gave up his naval career in 1952 when his wife was crowned Queen.

As his wife has become the longest reigning monarch in British history, Prince Philip is the longest-serving consort. Prime Minister Theresa May thanked him “on behalf of the whole country” for his decades of service to the Crown. “From his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen to his inspirational Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the wider world will be of huge benefit to us all for years to come,” she said.

Officials have said that the Queen, who turned 91 last month, will continue with her royal duties and engagements with the support of her family. Though she has indicated that she never plans to retire from her post, she has ceased long flights to other Commonwealth nations, relying on her grandchildren Prince William and Prince Harry for royal visits.

Prince Philip will continue his role with more than 780 charities but will not attend engagements. Buckingham Palace says the Prince is not expected to disappear completely from the public eye, and will choose to attend some events. The statement also indicated that Philip will carry out previously scheduled appointments through August. Read the statement in the Twitter post below.

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