It seems that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is not the only one who can’t keep up with their schedule anymore as British Tabloid The Sun mistakenly published a pre-written story announcing the duke’s death. The husband of Queen Elizabeth II is still very much alive, but following Buckingham Palace announcing an emergency meeting set for Thursday morning, anticipation over who could report the story first soon took precedence.
The palace officially released a statement on the duke’s behalf announcing that although he will be attending previously scheduled events between now and august, ‘thereafter, the duke will not be accepting new invitations from visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time’. Prince Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British history, despite refusing to take the official title, and his decision to retire is more than deserved after dedicating his life to what The Guardian reports as undertaking 22,191 solo engagements and giving a total of 5,493 speeches in almost seven decades.
The duke is most known through establishing The Duke of Edinburgh awards in 1956—a program that is now the world’s leading youth achievement awards across 141 countries.
Once referring to himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”, it seems the duke will not be renouncing his reputation for memorable quips. Following one gentlemen remarking to the Prince that he was “sorry to hear” that he was “standing down”, the Prince responded with the witty yet earnest remark: “Well I can’t stand up much longer.”
It appears that the Prince wishes to dedicate some of his time towards acknowledging his own pleasures and enjoyments after investing a number of years commending others on their own. Commenting on his age to the BBC on his 90th birthday, the duke remarked, “I reckon I’ve done my bit […] It’s better to get out before you reach your sell-by date.” It is fair to say that the duke has most definitely ‘done [his] bit’ and has earned himself the right to finally stand down and put his feet up!