International desk – The Duke of Edinburgh is retiring from royal duties this autumn, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The decision was made by Prince Philip himself and is supported by Queen Elizabeth II, BBC reported quoting a palace spokesman as saying.
The duke, who turns 96 next month, will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August but will not accept new invitations.
The Queen “will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements”, the palace said.
The duke carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, according to Court Circular listings.
He is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations and will continue to be associated with them, but “will no longer play an active role by attending engagements”, Buckingham Palace said.
In the statement, the spokesman said the duke “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time”.
BBC said the duke “clearly feels he now wishes to curtail” his “familiar role” in support of his wife.
The duke attended Lord’s Cricket Ground to open a new stand on Wednesday and was heard joking at the event that he is the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.
He is famed for off-the-cuff remarks he has made at royal engagements around the world over the years.
Prime Minister Theresa May said she offered the country’s “deepest gratitude and good wishes” to the duke following his announcement.
She added: “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.”