Queen Elizabeth made a sad announcement today when she revealed that her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, would be retiring from all royal duties.
“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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement, according to Daily Mail. “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.”
This came after it was reported that servants from royal residences all over the United Kingdom were called to Buckingham Palace to be addressed by the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior officer of the Royal Household, as well as Her Majesty’s right-hand man, Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt.
Even those who have worked for Queen Elizabeth the longest were in the dark about why the meeting was being held, and multiple sources said it was “highly unusual.” Rumors began to swirl that the meeting was being called to discuss a major announcement about either the monarch herself or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.
“Everyone is on tenterhooks,” said one staffer on condition of anonymity. “Although meetings involving the entire royal household are occasionally called, the way this has been done at the eleventh hour is highly unusual and suggests that there is something major to be disseminated.”
“But at the moment, only those closest to her genuinely know what on earth this is all about,” the source added.
Queen Elizabeth turned 91 last month, and her husband Prince Philip is turning 96 in June. Many are fearing that one of them has suffered a health scare, which prompted the emergency meeting to be called.