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Summary

  1. Prince Philip will no longer carry out public engagements from this autumn
  2. Buckingham Palace says decision was the duke's, with the full support of the Queen
  3. The duke will carry out previously scheduled appointments between now and August
  4. He will turn 96 next month

Live Reporting

By Martha Buckley, Esther Webber, Bernadette McCague, Alex Therrien and Paul Gribben

All times stated are UK

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That's all for now

Philip
BBC

Thanks for joining us today as Buckingham Palace announced the retirement of Prince Philip from his public duties. 

We heard that the duke will attend already 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.

British Engineering grateful for prince's support

Prince Philip is credited with helping to save engineering in Britain in the 1970s, having played a "vital" role in creating the Royal Academy of Engineering.

View more on twitter

Prince Philip retirement: More of your memories

Kendall Carter, Sheffield tells us:I met Prince Phillip when he opened the new stainless steel melting shop in Sheffield in 1977. He chatted with a group of people about the operation. One of our group said that he worked for his wife in previous years. He burst into laughter when the person told him it was on a HMS destroyer in the Royal Navy. Don't blame him for putting his feet up and having a well-deserved retirement. Top Man.

Jacqui Clarke comments:Congratulations to Prince Phillip for services he's done for the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. Thank you. Enjoy your retirement, it is well deserved.

 Beverley Heinze, Chorley writes:When working for the British Council in Berlin, I met the Queen and Prince Philip when they opened our new teaching centre in July 2000. The Prince was extremely charming and had researched an issue surrounding our freelance contracts and asked how they affected us.

Gail tells us:As with all of us of advancing years there comes a time when our body tells us it’s time to slow down.

Prince Phillip has served our country well, remaining at our monarch’s side through both the best of times and the worst of times.

Here’s hoping that he and his wife are able to spend many happy times together away from the public gaze in the coming years.  

Watch: Duke 'was underneath the caravan, rewiring the lights'

Vice-president of the British Driving Society on how he saw "a different side" to Prince Philip.

Prince Philip was a man 'who would talk to everybody, and give much encouragement'

Dean of Westminster pays tribute to Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, has met Prince Philip on many occasions. 

He told BBC Radio 4's The World at One about the Prince's strong interest in the restoration of Westminster Abbey and his commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme which he said, would "forever be a great memorial for him".   

Commonwealth reaction

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweets...

Watch: 'A moment to celebrate Prince Philip'

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron pays tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip's travels in pictures

The Duke of Edinburgh's has traveled all over the globe during his lifetime of royal duties. 

Here are some highlights in pictures:   

The Queen and Prince Philip in Venice
Getty Images
Prince Philip and the Queen took part in a state visit to Italy in 1961 which included a cruise along Venice's famous canals.
The Queen and Prince Philip in the Bahamas
Getty Images
In 1966 the royal couple went to the Bahamas as part of a tour of the Caribbean.
Prince Philip in Australia
Getty Images
In 2002 the Duke was reported to have startled Australian Aborigines by asking the owner of an Aboriginal cultural park: "Do you still throw spears at each other?" during a royal visit to Cairns, in Queensland.

See more pictures here.

Prince Philip 'acting on own advice'

Peter Hunt

Royal correspondent

Prince Philip
PA

This is Prince Philip acting on his own advice, nearly six years later.

When he turned 90 he told the BBC it was "better to get out before you reach your sell-by date".

From the autumn, he will follow a path into retirement which is trod by many non-royals once they are in their sixties.

Today's announcement is a significant moment in the recent history of the British Royal Family.

A prince of Greece - with Danish, German and Russian blood - he has served the ancient institution, very publicly, for seven decades.

As an outsider - who was viewed with suspicion by the aristocracy - he struggled at first.

To his critics, he is a gaffe-prone prince.

His many supporters argue that this nonagenarian senior royal has played a crucial role sustaining the monarchy.

It's little wonder then, that the Queen once called him her strength and stay.

Read more from Peter Hunt here.

Prince Philip 'very hard to beat' at carriage driving

One of the duke's great passions has been for carriage driving, which he continued to do competitively into his 80s. 

John Parker, the Duke of Edinburgh's former carriage driver and vice-president of the British Driving Society, told the BBC News channel he was a "very, very good" driver, who had made a huge contribution to the sport in the UK. 

He said: "He was very, very, good, very accurate and very brave. He was hard to beat. It meant everything to drive him, everything." 

Duke of Edinburgh's Award thanks prince

Prince Philip is patron, president or a member of more than 780 organisations and one of his most successful associations has been with the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

It has become one of the best-known youth self-improvement schemes, with young people across the globe gaining their bronze, silver and gold awards.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Business as usual for Prince Philip this afternoon

Prince Philip and the Queen arrive for service at St James's Palace

Here are the Queen and Prince Philip arriving at a service for members of the Order of Merit at St James's Palace a bit earlier. 

Afterwards, the duke seemed on jovial form, sharing smiles and jokes with those present, including television presenter Sir David Attenborough - another high-profile public figure who has continued to work into his 90s. 

Outside the palace well-wishers waited to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. 

Emma Sandvick, 31, from Brisbane in Australia, said: "He deserves to retire from royal duties, he has served his county well. He definitely deserves a break." 

Alan Doyle, 47, a guide with London Tailored Tours, added: "He has supported the Queen, he's been her rock." 

And Mary Ellen Doyle, a retired hospital administrator from Charleston, South Carolina, said: "I wish him a good number of years as his life continues."  

'He is one of us and we are sorry to see him go'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

President of the Burma Star Association Lord Slim has described Prince Philip as "having the admiration and affection of all our members". 

Lord Slim, who is son of field Marshal Bill Slim, leader of the WW2 Burma campaign, says the Prince has been an "outstanding patron" for more than 30 years.  

'I can't stand up for much longer'

5 News's royal correspondent tweets...

Prince Philip's pastimes and passions

Prince Philip
PA

A few things you might not know about Prince Philip:

  • He loves carriage driving at high speed through the countryside 
  • He is a keen oil painter
  • Its thought he could have risen to the most senior ranks of the Royal Navy had he not married Princess Elizabeth in 1947
  • He set about modernising Buckingham Palace after being told by aides to keep out of the Queen's official duties
  • He is Ranger of Windsor Great Park and has been instrumental in ensuring the upkeep of vast parklands, from designing gardens to introducing deer. 

Bishop of St Albans tweets...

The Duke's early life

Philip in Malta
Getty Images

The Greek-born prince's life of service to the UK began when he joined up with the Royal Navy in 1939.

He saw active service in World War Two, from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, being mentioned in despatches for his service on battleship HMS Valiant in 1941.

By that time he had met his distant cousin, Princess Elizabeth. Their friendship blossomed into love and they married in 1947, at which point he renounced his Greek title to become a naturalised British subject, and was made Duke of Edinburgh by King George VI.

Prince Philip's naval career, which saw the newly-married couple stationed in Malta, ended when George VI died in February 1952, and the princess became Queen.

Read full profile.

Prince Philip at 90 on a lifetime of speaking his mind

Queen and Prince Philip
AFP

In 2011, the Duke of Edinburgh spoke to Fiona Bruce in a special BBC One programme to mark his 90th birthday. 

He told her he had had to work out for himself what his role was "by trial and error".

"There was no precedent. If I asked somebody, 'What do you expect me to do?' they all looked blank. They had no idea, nobody had much idea."

One of Prince Philip's most successful initiatives has been to create The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which has stretched the capabilities of more than seven million young people globally since 1956.

But he said he could not take credit for the highly successful scheme. "I don't run it - I've said it's all fairly secondhand the whole business. I mean, I eventually got landed with the responsibility or the credit for it.

"I've got no reason to be proud of it. It's satisfying that we've set up a formula that works - that's it."

Read more.

Prince Philip retirement: Your comments

Karen Driscoll, in Australia, says:My son and his air cadet friends received their gold Duke of Edinburgh Award many years ago. The duke spoke to each group and asked them about their achievements. He took an interest in what they had to say and made them all feel at ease which made the award worthwhile. Time for the Duke of Edinburgh to put his feet up and take things easy. Thank you

Owen Traylor, in Tokyo, tells us:As a British diplomat I interpreted for the Duke of Edinburgh both in Berlin during HM the Queen's State Visit in 1992 and in Tokyo when he led a trade mission to encourage Japanese airlines to consider purchasing the BAe 146. As a student I also met him in St Lucia in 1975 when I was on a school cricket tour. On all occasions the duke was courteous, engaged and engaging. His service to the UK over the past 70 years is immeasurable and demands proper recognition.

Sandra Turner, in Doncaster, writes:Well done to Prince Philip for his service and his organisations and for continuing to support the Queen in her roles, despite increasing years.

He presented me with my Gold D of E award in 1969 at Buckingham Palace and two sons went on to get theirs presented at St James's Palace in the early 90s. 

Kris, in Coventry, says:A Prince Philip Day to mark the duke's birthday, starting next month would be a very fitting tribute to an amazing man. He has always spoken his mind, occasionally controversially, but very honestly.

Prince Philip 'helped maintain monarchy's popularity'

Prince Philip
PA

Professor Richard Toye, a historian from the University of Exeter, said royal engagement with public life and the media had been a crucial way of maintaining popular support for the monarchy in modern times.

“It is hard to imagine that any previous royal consort, had they lived into their nineties, would have been expected to keep up the level of activity that Prince Philip has done until today.

“His marriage to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 was symbolic of a glamorous new era of royal celebrity which, however, came with considerable difficulties and strains.”

Listen: Prince Philip speaking to Radio 4

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

More of Prince Philip's controversial quotes

And here are some more of Prince Philip's most famous - and sometimes controversial - one-liners: 

1988: "It looks like a tart's bedroom." On seeing plans for the Duke and Duchess of York's house at Sunninghill Park.

1992: "Oh no, I might catch some ghastly disease." In Australia when asked to stroke a koala bear.

1993: "You can't have been here that long, you haven't got a pot belly". To a Briton he met in Hungary.

1994: "Aren't most of you descended from pirates?" To a wealthy islander in the Cayman Islands.

1995: "How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test."To a Scottish driving instructor.

You can read the rest of them here

More on London service Prince Philip is attending

The Queen and Prince Philip are attending a service for members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace before hosting a lunch.

Here the Royal Family Twitter feeds explains more about what the Order of Merit is. 

View more on twitter

Prince 'a wonderful patron'

BBC Radio 5 live

Alison Tweed, director of Book Aid International, praised the support the charity had received from Prince Philip. 

"His royal highness has been a wonderful patron for us for over 50 years, giving us a great sense of continuity in the charity as we have changed and developed and grown.

"He has always been there interested in what we are doing, with his very own strong views, and supporting the work that we do."

'Don a regal onesie?' What will he do next?

BBC News presenter tweets...

Gaffes and quips over the years

Prince Philip
Getty Images

Prince Philip is renowned for speaking his mind - often explained as his attempt to lighten the mood - which has led to some cringeworthy and often side-splitting public utterances.

Here are some of his most famous remarks.

1966: "British women can't cook".

1969: "What do you gargle with, pebbles?" To Sir Tom Jones after a Royal Variety Performance.

1981: "Everybody was saying we must have more leisure. Now they are complaining they are unemployed." During the 1981 recession.

1984: "You are a woman, aren't you?" In Kenya after accepting a small gift from a local woman.

1986: "If you stay here much longer you'll all be slitty-eyed." To a group of British students during a royal visit to China.

Read more.

Profile: A duty to Queen and country

Prince Philip
Getty Images

Prince Philip was once described by the Queen as "my strength and stay all these years" and his lifetime of public service is testimony to that.

When the Duke of Edinburgh does finally stand down from his royal duties this autumn, it will bring to a close decades of him being at Her Majesty's side at all kinds of events at home and abroad.

And that is not to mention the 22,191 solo engagements he has undertaken in his role as the longest-serving consort in British history.

Read more

Royal retirement: A further selection of your emails

Peter Bierwirth, France, writes:The Duke has made a wise decision. He should already have reduced his 'official engagements' to 50% when he reached 'official retirement age'. Her Majesty the Queen should do likewise. There are other members in her family who are qualified to replace her in order to make her life easier. I quit my work at 68 to enjoy the rest of my life without such time-consuming official responsibilities.

Mark Rennie, Newcastle upon Tyne, says:What a wonderful gentleman! Over the years, I don't think that we could have had a finer ambassador for the United Kingdom than H.R.H. Prince Philip. I hope that he will now enjoy his "retirement" in good health and in great happiness; he most assuredly deserves it.

Antonia Luk Turner comments:When I was a child living in Hong Kong back in the 1960s, we were watching Prince Philip's motorcade driving by from my aunt's apartment window. He waved at us!  I'll never forget that.

Shaun, West Bromwich, suggests:We should have a coin or note in recognition of such a stalwart and loyal servant of the nation or a national day of remembrance of him.

Prince Philip and Queen arrive at service

And here the royals are pictured arriving at the service in London for members of the Order of Merit. 

View more on twitter

Prince Philip on duty today

Prince Philip and the Queen are today due at a service for members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace before hosting a lunch for those attending. 

Here the duke was photographed today waving from his car. 

Prince Philip with the Queen waving from his car
EPA
Prince Philip in a car
EPA

Decision 'considered since turn of the year'

The BBC's royal correspondent, Nicholas Witchell, said Prince Philip had been "thinking actively" about the decision since the turn of the year. 

Our correspondent said the Prince had wanted to be there publicly for events like the Queen's 90th birthday last year.

He said there were no health considerations involved in the decision, other than the "inevitable health elements" for someone who is 95. 

Prince 'will not sit back with sound turned up'

Victoria Derbyshire

Christopher Lee, an historian who wrote the radio documentary series This Sceptred Isle for BBC, said he did not think Prince Philip would be retiring entirely from his public duties. He thinks he will still be making some public appearances. 

“He won’t just sit back, as you say, with the sound turned up. 

"He will be saying ‘why aren’t you doing this, why aren’t we doing this, why did you do that?’ 

"It’s an instinct. This is a man who was the first man in the palace to put computers in his office. 

“He’s got this sense of waking up every morning, looking around and saying ‘this will do, now what are we going to do?’ The big issues. 

"He will want to know about the big issues. He will know every single touch, nuance on Brexit, for example.“

Prince Philip retirement: More of your comments

Ian Whiteway, Reading says:I remember being a marine cadet in the early 80s rehearsing for a Royal parade. The Duke was the Royal for the parade. It went well and he spoke to me. It was a great event to be part of.

Robert Colebrook tells us:I had worked for six months on board the Royal Yacht Britannia during Charles and Diana's tour to Canada, in which the Queen and Prince Phillip were both on board.

Every morning we had to be up at 7am cleaning the parts of the ship before the Royals got up. However, one morning I remember we hadn't quite finished and therefore we had to stay below the side of the ship out of the view of the public. Prince Philip saw me and told me not to worry about it and finish off my duties as if he wasn't there.

Matthew Jones, Telford comments:When I was in school I played in a steel band.  We were booked to perform at the arrival of the Duke of Edinburgh at a local DoE award event. We expected him to walk straight past but he stopped and took the time to listen, waited for us to finish then said thank you.

Sunny, Singapore writes:As a child, I grew up watching the celebrations of the Queen's Coronation in 1958 in Singapore. The Duke was a familiar face to me all these years and indeed he has contributed much to Britain and to mankind. I wish Prince Philip well in his retirement and may he be blessed with good health, peace and joy.

Sadiq Khan: London grateful for 'lifetime of service'

The London Mayor tweets...

Prince Philip's 22,191 solo engagements

The engagements still on Duke's diary

Buckingham Palace has said Prince Philip will carry out previously scheduled engagements between now and August.

The palace publishes details of official engagements up to eight weeks in advance. 

For the Duke of Edinburgh, these include:

  • Visiting Pangbourne College, Berkshire, for its centenary - 9 May
  • Presenting prizes at the Royal Windsor Horse Show - 14 May
  • Attending a dinner marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of Pakistan - 18 May
  • Visiting the Chelsea Flower Show - 22 May
  • Holding receptions for young people who have achieved a gold Duke of Edinburgh award - 24 May
  • Attending evensong to celebrate the centenary of the Companions of Honour - 13 June
  • Presenting the Prince Philip Award at ZSL London Zoo - 27 June
  • Hosting King Felipe of Spain during his state visit - from 12 July

Watch: PM offers 'deepest gratitude' to Prince Philip

That unfortunate Sun headline...

Here's how the Sun's website mistakenly reported Prince Philip's death earlier today amid social media speculation about an "emergency meeting" of royal staff.  

The story was quickly taken down and Buckingham Palace released a statement saying the duke was in fact planning his retirement. 

Sun headline
BBC

Cameron: Prince Philip an 'outstanding public servant'

Former prime minister tweets...