Buckingham Palace recently confirmed that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will step down from royal public duties today. A statement explained that while the 96-year-old royal will still serve as patron, president or a member of 780 organisations, he will no longer have ‘an active role’.
The Palace said the decision was ‘fully supported’ by the Queen and after 70 years of royal service, many have described the move as “well-deserved.” However, the retirement of one of the busiest members of the royal family does mark a time of change.
Analysis of the Daily Court Circular showed that Philip carried out royal engagements on 110 days of 2016, a figure which rivalled that of his children and grandchildren. According to royal biographer Marcia Moody, his choice to end these duties will have a substantial impact on both the monarch and the youngeer generations in the family.
The Queen will continue with her royal engagements as usual. The Duke of Edinburgh and the monarch have been married for almost 70 years. Philip abandoned his successful naval career to focus on supporting the Queen following her ascension in 1952. In 2009, he came the longest-serving British consort. The Duke is Patron or President of more than 800 organisations, but is probably best known for having founded the probably best known for having founded The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme in 1956 – considered the world’s leading youth achievement award.