Prince Philip has taken a typically irreverent view on his own retirement today telling one man who said he was sorry he was standing down: ‘Well I can’t stand up for much longer’.
The Duke of Edinburgh made himself and a crowd of guests roar with laughter while with the Queen at an Order of Merit service at St James’s Palace just an hour after announcing he will end his public royal duties at the age of 95.
Mathematician Sir Michael Atiyah was left in hysterics after stopping him to say: ‘I’m sorry to hear you’re standing down’, to which the Duke replied: ‘Well I can’t stand up much longer’.
His well-earned retirement comes after 70 years dedicated service to Britain and Her Majesty, who has given him her ‘full support’ to step down.
It was announced at a top secret emergency meeting called by Buckingham Palace and attended by other royals including his daughter Princess Anne.
The difficult decision was made by Philip himself and he will step back just before he and the Queen reach their 70 year platinum wedding anniversary in November. The Queen will continue her public engagements as she has always vowed to serve her country for as long as she lives.
In a statement Buckingham Palace said: ‘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.
‘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’.
Last night the Mail revealed staff from the royal household across Britain were called to London today, which caused fevered speculation around the world about the health of the Queen and her husband.
However, Philip – Britain’s longest serving consort in history – is ‘fine’ but has decided to end his formal royal duties having supported his wife in public on thousands of occasions since 1947.
Culled from Daily Mail.