'I Can't Stand Up Much' Prince Philip Says as he Retires from Royal Duties
Prince Philip, the 95-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, joked on Thursday about no longer being able to "stand up much" as Buckingham Palace announced he would retire later this year from active public life.
Philip, who is also known as the Duke of Edinburgh and has sometimes drawn attention with headline-grabbing gaffes, has been by the queen's side throughout her 65 years on the throne and she has described him as "my strength and stay".
"Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen," the palace said in a statement.
"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 queen, the world's longest-reigning living monarch who celebrated her 91st birthday in April, will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements, the statement added. Polls show Elizabeth, who ascended to the throne in 1952, remains hugely popular among Britons.
At an engagement at St James's Palace in central London with his wife on Thursday, a guest told Philip he was sorry to hear he was standing down.
"I can't stand up much," quipped the prince, whose off-the-cuff remarks have sometimes landed him in hot water.
The announcement of Philip's retirement was made following a meeting of all senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace, news of which prompted media speculation about the health of the royals.
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