Prince Phillip to Retire from Public Duties, Buckingham Palace Announces
Twitterstorm of Speculation turns into Disappointment as News is Not Exactly Earthshaking
May 5, 2017
When the entire British royal family was been summoned to a meeting at Buckingham Palace, the initial response was someone must have died.
No, tweeted the Royal Press Office. The Queen and Prince Phillip were alive and well. What then? Lord Voldemort has returned? Flags at the Palace were not at half mast.
The entire staff was also been summoned. Emergency meetings of this nature do happen, but are uncommon. After what seemed like a long wait, it was announced that at 95, Prince Phillip is slowing down, and will be relieved of his duties.
Servants were addressed by the Royal Household's most senior officer Lord Chamberlain and Her Majesty's Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt on the new protocols.
Queen Elizabeth II has previously stated she would never abdicate. Prince Charles, her successor, has been waiting for the crown his entire life, and is now elderly himself.
But both performed royal duties on Wednesday: The queen met Prime Minister Theresa May, and the prince cut a ribbon to open a new stand of seats at a cricket ground. "His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year," the palace statement said. "In taking this decision, the duke has the full support of the queen."
Needless to say, Twitter had a grand old time of it. "Queen will announce that the Spice Girls are getting back together" Twitter. "Are the Corgies ok?"
"At 8am London time, Buckingham Palace will announce that Queen Elizabeth has Trump's tax returns." tweeted one Phillip MacKenzie. Other tweets included "The Queen clicked on a bogus Google Doc link. Nevermind."
"Prince Phillip has lost two of the Tupperware boxes he keeps his breakfast cereals in. All staff are to be quizzed." And then another tweet: "Camilla is a man. I bloody knew it."
BREAKING: #BuckinghamPalace to announce that "War of Independence was unnecessary. Andrew Jackson would've stopped it. Sad!"
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Philip Mountbatten; born Prince Filips of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921) is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was an infant. After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth (his third cousin through Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and second cousin once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark), whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets.
After the war, Philip was granted permission by King George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents. After an engagement of five months, he married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became Queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander. He was formally made a Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957.
Philip has four children with Elizabeth: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. He has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of Philip and Elizabeth not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Charles and Anne.
A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He is a patron, president or member of over 780 organisations and serves as chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme for people aged 14 to 24. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family.
Elizabeth II, born 21 April 1926 has been Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand since 6 February 1952. She is Head of the Commonwealth and Queen of 12 countries that have become independent since her accession: Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.
Elizabeth was born in London as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York, later King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and she was educated privately at home. Her father acceded to the throne on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive. She began to undertake public duties during the Second World War, serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Service. In 1947, she married Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, a former prince of Greece and Denmark, with whom she has four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
Elizabeth's many historic visits and meetings include a state visit to the Republic of Ireland and visits to or from five popes. She has seen major constitutional changes, such as devolution in the United Kingdom, Canadian patriation, and the decolonisation of Africa. She has reigned through various wars and conflicts involving many of her realms. She is the world's oldest reigning monarch as well as Britain's longest-lived.
In 2015, she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, to become the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning queen regnant and female head of state in world history. In October 2016, she became the longest currently reigning monarch and head of state following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand.
Times of personal significance have included the births and marriages of her children, her coronation in 1953, and the celebration of milestones such as her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and 2012, respectively. In 2017 she became the first British monarch to commemorate a Sapphire Jubilee.
Moments of sadness for her include the death of her father in 1952 at age 56; the assassination of Prince Philip's uncle Lord Mountbatten in 1979; the breakdown of her children's marriages in 1992 (her annus horribilis); the death in 1997 of her son's former wife, Diana, Princess of Wales; and the deaths of her mother and sister in 2002. Elizabeth has occasionally faced republican sentiments and press criticism of the royal family; however, support for the monarchy remains high, as does her personal popularity.