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British RoyalsThe Duke of Edinburgh

BREAKING NEWS: The Duke of Edinburgh to step down from royal duties this autumn

Last night, the calling of an emergency meeting for all senior royal aides at Buckingham Palace caused a widespread panic that something might have happened to either Her Majesty The Queen or His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. French media began reporting on the supposed death of The Duke of Edinburgh, although it was later confirmed that both The Queen and The Duke are in good health.

The calling of an emergency meeting for all senior royal aides is not that uncommon, but the timing of the call might have attributed to the panic. The hashtag #BuckinghamPalace was still trending this morning, several hours after the news of the emergency meeting broke.

This morning it was finally confirmed that The Duke of Edinburgh is stepping down from public duties this autumn. The announcement was made after all members of the Queen’s household were gathered at Buckingham Palace for a highly unusual staff meeting. The Duke of Edinburgh is not accepting any new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time. The Duke of Edinburgh has the full support of Her Majesty The Queen at this time. Her Majesty will continue will her full program of official engagements with the support of other members of the Royal Family

The Duke of Edinburgh is associated with over 780 organisations, but he will no longer play an active role in attending their engagements. The Duke of Edinburgh will celebrate his 96th birthday in June and has been by The Queen’s side since their marriage in 1947.

He follows in the footsteps of Prince Henrik of Denmark, the husband of Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, who retired from public duties on 1 January 2016 at the age of 80.