It’s been quite a morning at Buckingham Palace in London this morning, one that left people everywhere in a worry that perhaps something dire had taken place within the royal walls.
News of a “significant” staff meeting at Buckingham Palace emerged prior to it being held at 10 a.m. GMT (that’s 2 a.m. PT). The meeting was called by the Lord Chamberlain, Queen Elizabeth II’s most senior household staff member. These kinds of staff meetings only occur a few times a year, so there was significant public interest in the news.
There'll be a staff meeting at Buckingham Palace this morning. It's not to do with the health of either the Queen or Prince Philip.
— @PeterDGPHunt (@PeterDGPHunt) May 4, 2017
Thankfully, it’s all good news coming out of Buckingham Palace today. Per CNN’s report, Buckingham Palace released an official statement that Prince Philip would be retiring from public life. Referred to in the statement by another one of his royal titles, the Duke of Edinburgh, that official statement reads thus: “His Royal Highness 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.”
For the better part of the last six decades, Prince Philip has regularly accompanied his wife on public engagements and diplomatic events. While the queen will still have to maintain some level of public appearance, Prince Philip will now move noticeably out of the public spotlight.
The official statement also detailed the plan to gradually phase out Prince Philip from the public spotlight. “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.”
The Duke of Edinburgh is Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated. pic.twitter.com/lH2zsYKXsp
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 4, 2017
Many speculated the worst — a death in the royal family — had occurred. In fact, a French news outlet went so far as to falsely report that Prince Philip had died; not exactly the best move. As is expected in this day and age, a hashtag popped up on Twitter, #PrincePhilip, where people were fretting over the royal’s health before the actual news came.
Luckily, all members of the royal family, especially Prince Philip, are in good health right now. I’m sure we’ll miss Prince Philip once he retires from the public eye, but it’s understandably all for the best.