Prince Philip, 95, keeps calm but won't carry on royal duty

Britain's Prince Philip arrives at Chapel Royal in St James's Palace in London for an Order of Merit service

Britain's Prince Philip arrives at Chapel Royal in St James's Palace in London for an Order of Merit service

The Duke of Edinburgh has spent seven decades working in support of his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and at 95 years of age has made a decision to forgo public engagements as of August.

The 95-year-old has attended countless British and foreign engagements, as well as being patron or president of nearly 800 organisations.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 96 on June 10, is the longest-serving consort in British history, and is still in good health.

The couple are set to mark their 70th or platinum wedding anniversary in November this year. After their marriage in 1947, they spent time in Malta, where he was posted - only for their lives to be changed overnight by the premature death of her father, king George VI, in 1952.

The officials spoke Thursday after a report by Britain's Daily Mail of an unusual meeting of royal household staff sparked speculation about the health of Queen Elizabeth II, 91, and her husband, Prince Philip, 95.

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Philip may feel the monarchy is in good hands, with the line of succession extending to William and Kate's children, Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, who just turned 2.

"I'm sorry to hear you're standing down", a noted mathematician reportedly said to the prince.

The meeting was called somewhat last minute, leading many to fear that some actual emergency was taking place at the palace.

The queen's husband said Thursday he will carry out scheduled engagements for the next few months but won't take on new ones starting in the fall.

And it was business as usual once the fanfare died down, with a meeting of the members of the Order of Merit at St James's Palace proving his trademark wit had not deteriorated.

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Earlier this week, Prince Philip attended the opening of a new stand at London's famous Lord's Cricket Ground, where he jokingly described himself as "the world's most-experienced plaque-unveiler".

During his long public life, Prince Philip has often drawn media attention for his sometimes undiplomatic remarks. The prince is also a patron of more than 780 organizations and will continue his association with them.

"He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments", she said.

The news was announced by Buckingham Palace after a much-publicised meeting of Royal Household staff. "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know".

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