Prince Philip's final diary dates

Prince Philip has a number of official engagements and appearances scheduled before he retires.

Prince Philip's final duties will include meeting the King and Queen of Spain, attending the Chelsea Flower Show, and hosting a charity dinner.

The 95-year-old royal is to step down from public engagements later this year, but has a list of already-scheduled events in place for the coming months that he intends to honour.

On May 9, he will join his wife Queen Elizabeth to meet with teachers and pupils at Pangbourne College in Reading, Berkshire, to celebrate the school's centenary.

And on May 14, he will present trophies at the Royal Windsor Horse Show before heading to the Chartered Management Institute's President's Dinner at Banqueting House in London in his role as the institute's patron the following day.

In two weeks time, a listing on the royal family's official website states he will "hold a Dinner at Frogmore House, Home Park Windsor" on May 19 for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and five days later he will host "receptions for young people who have achieved the Gold Standard" in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Three annual Buckingham Palace garden parties are in the diary on May 16, June 1, and July 4, and Philip will also be expected at the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 17.

On June 27, the royal will visit London Zoo to present the Prince Philip Award for Contributions to Zoology.

On July 12, King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain will make a three-day state visit to the UK, for which Philip will be on hand.

According to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, it expected that once the Duke of Edinburgh and his wife go on their annual summer holiday to Balmoral in August, the prince's retirement will begin, though he may still make public appearances in the future.

Ten key dates in the life of Britain's Prince Philip

Here are 10 key dates in the life of Britain's Prince Philip, after Buckingham Palace announced that he would step down from official duties later this year:

June 10, 1921 - Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark is born on a kitchen table in on Corfu. Aged 18 months, he was spirited out of Greece in an orange box when his uncle king Constantine I was forced to abdicate.

May 1939 - In the run-up to World War II, Philip finishes his schooling at Gordonstoun in Scotland and joins the British navy.

September 2, 1945 - Philip is present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender. He was mentioned in dispatches for his service during the war and took part in the battles of Crete and Cape Matapan and the allied invasion of Sicily.

November 20, 1947 - Philip marries Princess Elizabeth, lifting some of the post-war gloom. Second cousins once removed, they met in 1939 and stayed in touch during the war. Having renounced his Greek and Danish titles, he is created the Duke of Edinburgh shortly before his wedding.

February 6, 1952 - King George VI dies and Princess Elizabeth becomes queen while in Kenya on a Commonwealth tour. Philip is forced to abandon his naval career.

1956 - He launches the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, designed to teach youngsters self-reliance and public service. Millions of young people have since taken part.

November 20, 1997 - Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. In a rare public tribute, she said: "He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years."

April 18, 2009 - He becomes the longest serving royal consort in British history, overtaking queen Charlotte, the wife of king George III.

June 10, 2011 - The queen makes her husband the Lord High Admiral, the titular head of the British navy, to celebrate his 90th birthday.

May 4, 2017 - Buckingham Palace announces that Prince Philip is to step down from public duties later this year.

Britain's Prince Philip to retire from public engagements

Britain's Prince Philip, the 95-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will retire from public engagements later this year, Buckingham Palace said Thursday.

The decision was taken with the full support of the monarch, the palace said in a statement.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 96 on June 10, is the longest-serving consort in British history, and conducted 219 royal engagements last year.

A meeting of Buckingham Palace staff was called for 10:00am (0900 GMT), sending British news organisations into a flurry of speculation.

"His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year," the statement said.

"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."

Prince Philip has been ever-present at his wife's side since she took the throne in 1952.

They married in 1947 and will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on November 20.

It is likely that the monarch will be accompanied by younger members of the royal family on future engagements.

The duke carried out royal duties on 110 days last year - more than his grandchildren Princes William and Harry.

"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," the palace statement said.

"Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the royal family."

Philip was in good form when he opened a new stand at Lord's cricket ground in London on Wednesday.

"You're about to see the world's most experienced plaque-unveiler," he quipped just before pulling the cord to part a small curtain.

He looked at a selection of cricket bats through the ages, joking that one looked like "an offensive weapon".

'No cause for alarm' after rumours over Queen Elizabeth II

There is "no cause for alarm" over the health of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband after a meeting of all royal staff sparked frenzied speculation, a source told AFP Thursday.

Television crews descended on Buckingham Palace at dawn after a newspaper report of a "highly unusual" staff meeting prompted speculation of an imminent royal announcement.

The palace officially declined to comment.

A well-placed source confirmed to AFP that staff from around the country had been called to the palace for a meeting on Thursday, but insisted: "There is no cause for alarm."

While such meetings are rare, they are not unprecedented and can happen several times a year.

The Daily Mail report sparked global speculation about the health of the 91-year-old queen and her husband Prince Philip, who turns 96 in June.

A few curious royal watchers joined more than a dozen cameras outside the gates of the palace, the queen's London residence.

"My cousin got in touch with me from LA. And he said there was something going down in the palace," said 40-year-old American actress Kim Tatum.

The queen returned to London on Wednesday after spending the Easter break at Windsor Castle.

She met with Prime Minister Theresa May during the afternoon, to mark the dissolution of parliament ahead of the June 8 snap general election.

Her husband Prince Philip opened a new stand at Lord's cricket ground.

Media gather outside Buckingham Palace as rumours swirl

Television crews descended on Queen Elizabeth II's London residence at Buckingham Palace at dawn on Thursday after a report of a "highly unusual" staff meeting prompted speculation of a royal announcement.

The Daily Mail newspaper reported that servants from royal residences across the country had been ordered at late notice to London for a meeting Thursday morning led by the most senior official in the royal household, the Lord Chamberlain.

A palace spokesman refused to comment when questioned about the report by AFP, but speculation spread on social media - and a few curious royal watchers joined more than a dozen cameras outside the gates.

"I just got here because my cousin got in touch with me from LA. And he said there was something going down in the palace," said 40-year-old American Kim Tatum, an actress.

The queen, 91, returned to the palace on Wednesday after spending the Easter break at Windsor Castle.

She met with Prime Minister Theresa May during the afternoon, to mark the dissolution of parliament ahead of the June 8 snap general election.

Her husband Prince Philip, who will be 96 in June, opened a new stand at Lord's cricket ground.

 

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