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Buckingham Palace confirms Prince Philip to 'stand down from Royal duties'

Servants from royal residences across Britain were ordered at late notice to London for the announcement.

Royal visit to Lord's Source: Victoria Jones PA Wire/PA Images

Updated at 10.49am

BUCKINGHAM PALACE HAS confirmed that Prince Philip will no longer carry out public engagements.

The 95-year-old is stepping away from Royal duties, but his wife Queen Elizabeth will continue to carry out a “full programme of official engagements”.

According to a statement, Philip has “the full support of the Queen”.

He will attend all previously scheduled engagements up until the autumn, and will then take a back seat from royal engagements.

The Duke of Edinburgh has suffered heart problems in the past, but has maintained a high level of public engagements despite his advancing age.

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

He 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 20 November.

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.

Earlier, TV crews descended on Buckingham Palace after a report of a “highly unusual” staff meeting prompted speculation of a royal announcement.

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

Britain Royals Buckingham Palace this morning. Source: Alastair Grant

Speculation then spread on social media through the early hours – and a few curious royal watchers joined more than a dozen cameras outside the gates. There was a media presence outside the Queen’s London residence from dawn.

An official later told The Associated Press that a meeting of household staff had indeed been called, but said there is “no cause for concern”.

That followed a series of social media posts and speculative articles about the health of the Queen Elizabeth, 91, and her husband Prince Philip.

Both appeared to be in good health yesterday.

Royal visit to Lord's Prince Philip at Lord's cricket ground yesterday. Source: Arthur Edwards

The Queen met with Prime Minister Theresa May at the palace and Philip made an appearance at a London cricket club.

- Reporting from AFP and Associated Press

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Daragh Brophy

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