• Prince Philip to step down from official duties in autumn aged 96.
  • Staff meeting at Buckingham Palace held at 10am.
  • Officials forced to dismiss concerns about health of Queen and Prince Philip.

And that concludes today's live blog of what eventually became the news of Prince Philip's retirement from public engagements.

Follow all the news from across the world on IBTimes UK.


PA have also managed top pull together Prince Philip in numbers, which shows the extraordinary amount of ground he's covered for Royal engagements.

These include:

  • 22,191 solo engagements
  • 637 solo overseas visits
  • 29 visits to 67 Commonwealth countries, and 408 visits to 76 other countries
  • 5,493 speeches given

Not bad considering most people retire form work a good 30 years before the the Duke of Edinburgh will do.

the Queen at 90
1979: The Queen and Prince Philip go on safari during their state visit to Zambia Serge Lemoine/Getty


The Queen and Prince Philip are still very much sticking to their schedules for the time being, as seen by the Press Association photo.


As rumours of the apparent "emergency meeting" at the Palace spreads like wildfire online, the question on many people's lips who the shadowy figure Lord Chamberlain is, the most senior official in the Royal Household who oversaw the meeting.

Luckily, we have a full profile on the man, otherwise known as William Peel.
Here's an extract:

Lord Peel will be leading the mysterious meeting at Buckingham Palace today as he is the most senior official in the Royal Household. His office is responsible for ceremonial activities including state visits, investitures, garden parties, the State Opening of Parliament, funerals and royal weddings, organising all Court functions.

Full story here:

Who is William Peel, the Lord Chamberlain who conducted the Buckingham Palace meeting?


As in tradition with any event surrounding Prince Philip, there must be some mention of some of the less than ideal quotes he has made down the years.

Some highlights from the vault include:

• Speaking to deaf children standing by a steel band in Cardiff, 1999, he said: "Deaf? If you're near there, no wonder you are deaf."
• Answering whether he would like to visit the Soviet Union in 1967, he said: "I would like to go to Russia very much, although the b*stards murdered half my family.
• On the Duke of York's house in 1986, he said: "It looks like a tart's bedroom."

More choice phrases can be found here:

Prince Philip retires: Remembering his most memorable moments and gaffes

Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh
Getty Images


The prime minister has also now issued a statement paying tribute to the Duke's "patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes".

Theresa May adds

"On behalf of the whole country, I want to offer our deepest gratitude and good wishes to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh following today's announcement that he will stand down from public duties in the Autumn.

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."

Theresa May election


Jeremy Corbyn, not a known monarchist, has been surprisingly quick to issue a statement paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Labour leader said:

"I would like to pay tribute to Prince Philip following his decision to retire from public service.

"He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty.

"His Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations.

"We thank Prince Philip for his service to the country and wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement."

Jeremy Corbyn
Jack Taylor/Getty Images


Following the news the 95-year-old Royal will be stepping down from official engagements, IBTimes UK has pulled together a gallery of his life.

Prince Philip in pictures: The life and times of the Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth Sapphire Jubilee
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip pose on the Queen's Coronation day, 02 June 1953, in Buckingham Palace, in London. Stringer/AFP/Getty Images


Two key points from the official statement: The Queen will still carry on her full rota of royal engagements and Prince Philip may "still choose to attend certain public events from time to time".

queen prince philip holding hands
The Queen and Prince Philip hold hands as they walk down the stairs of St Paul's Cathedral after a Service of Commemoration for troops who were stationed in Afghanistan Chris Jackson/Getty Images


The Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 96 next month, is the oldest ever member of the Royal Family and is still taking part in official engagements.

Just yesterday he attended the Lords cricket ground to open the open the new Warner Stand.

Prince Philip Lord's Cricket
Prince Philip visits Lord's Cricket Ground where he opened the new Warner Stand, in London, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/Pool


Full statement from the Royal Family regarding Prince Philip's retirement:

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.

The Duke of Edinburgh is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated, although he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.

Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.

Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip pictured in March 2017 Leon Neal/Getty Images


Confirmed: Prince Philip will be standing down from Royal duties in the Autumn.


Next we of course have the Queen, with ever bigger photo gallery to celebrate her 90th birthday last April.


First up, an extensive gallery showing the life and times of the Duke of Edinburgh following his 95th birthday last year.

Some highlights below:


As the significance of the meeting appears to be getting downplayed as the morning goes on, here's a reminder of the full-scale meltdown which occurred on social media as rumours began to get out of control.

Full round-up of the best tweets here:


It appears The Sun was a bit to eager to hit the publish button when writing up a story about Prince Philips' death just in case.

The article – complete with etc etc headline – was swiftly taken down.


Prince Philip -the oldest member of the Royal family – is still conducting official visits at the age of 96.

Just yesterday, before all the rumours surrounding his health spread, the Duke was at Lord's Cricket Ground to open the new Warner Stand.

Prince Philip Lord's Cricket
Britain's Prince Philip visits Lord's Cricket Ground where he opened the new Warner Stand, in London, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/Pool
Prince Philip Lord's Cricket
Britain's Prince Philip visits Lord's Cricket Ground where he opened the new Warner Stand, in London, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/Pool
Prince Philip Lord's Cricket
Britain's Prince Philip visits Lord's Cricket Ground where he opened the new Warner Stand, in London, May 3, 2017. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/Pool


Here's more from ITV's royal correspondent Chris Ship, who suggests there could be an announcement about "another member of the Royal family".

Via Ship's Facebook:

You will be waking up this morning to lots of hysterical speculation from around the world about the health of the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh.
There *is* a meeting at Buckingham Palace today. And it's not a routine meeting. It is being taken by the Lord Chamberlain - the Queen's head of household.
Buckingham Palace is not commenting on the speculation for the reason for this meeting.
However, there is no imminent announcement of a death - as some have claimed - and nor is the Queen about the say she is abdicating.
Beyond that, I can't say much more.
The Queen met Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday.
And the Duke opened a new wing at Lords Cricket Ground.
There could be an announcement about another member of the The Royal Family.
We will know what it's all about mid-morning. My guess around 10am.


While there is still no confirmation about what the meeting could be about, royal correspondents for several newspapers and news channels have said it is not due to the death of the Queen or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.


Good morning and welcome to the IBTimes UK's live blog of the meeting held at Bucking Palace involving senior royal aides which has sparked worldwide speculation.

Sources at Buckingham Palace said there was "no cause for alarm" for the meeting, with speculation suggesting all senior royal staff were summoned because of health because either the Queen or Prince Philip were suffering health problems or even death.

Sources at the palace denied the rumours, adding that such all-staff meetings occur around once a year.

The rumours appear to have been starting by a Daily Mail report which suggested that senior aides from across the country were called back to London for the what was described as an "unusual" meeting.

Queen Elizabeth II Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh wave to guests attending 'The Patron's Lunch' celebrations for The Queen's 90th birthday on The Mall on June 12, 2016 Getty