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The Duke of Edinburgh

The world reacts to the news of Prince Philip’s retirement

Politicians, celebrities and dignitaries from across the globe have today been reacting to the news that the Duke of Edinburgh will be retiring in the Autumn at the age of 96.

The Prince, who celebrates his birthday next month, will not add any new engagements onto his diary from now on.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said: “On behalf of the whole country, I want to offer our deepest gratitude and good wishes to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s announcement that he will stand down from public duties in the autumn.

“From his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen to his inspirational Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the wider world will be of huge benefit to us all for years to come.”

Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, also praised the Duke, particularly in relation to his work with the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Mr Corbyn said: “I would like to pay tribute to Prince Philip following his decision to retire from public service. He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty.

“His Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has inspired young people for more than 60 years in over 140 nations. We thank Prince Philip for his service to the country and wish him all the best in his well-earned retirement.”

In Canada, where The Queen is also Head of State, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I thank Prince Philip for his decades of service and wish him the all the best in his retirement.”

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, also mentioned the Duke of Edinburgh Award, saying said: “The Duke of Edinburgh has dedicated his life to public service and the steadfast support he has given to the Queen throughout her reign is hugely admirable.

“His charity work, in particular his role as chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, has benefited millions of young people across Scotland. He also gave over 50 years of service to Edinburgh University during his time as Chancellor there.

“He has always served with enthusiasm and a healthy sense of humour. I have always thoroughly enjoyed any time that I have spent in his company.”

Foreign Secretary and former Mayor of London Boris Johnson tweeted: “Duke of Edinburgh has given the most extraordinary public service for over 60 years with dedication, energy and wit. Our nation thanks him.”

Current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, posted on Facebook: “I know Londoners and the entire country will be incredibly grateful for the Duke of Edinburgh’s lifetime of dedicated public service. This not only includes his seven decades undertaking royal duties, but his time fighting for Britain during the Second World War in the Royal Navy.

I wish Prince Philip well on his retirement from public life and thank him on behalf of all Londoners for his contribution to our city and our country, including his work on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which has inspired and transformed the lives of so many young people.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, said: “Well, perhaps 30 years later than most people retire, the Duke of Edinburgh is announcing that that is what he is intending to do, and I think it is a moment to celebrate and take stock of the enormous achievements that he has made in his life so far, the enormous service he has given to his country, the service to countless charities he has supported, plus while being such a rock for Her Majesty the Queen.

“I think it is a moment for us to be genuinely reflective of a great life well-lived and great achievements.”

Former Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The Duke of Edinburgh is an outstanding public servant. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. I always enjoyed his company, esp his BBQs!”

Leader of UKIP, Paul Nuttall, said: “Today we should honour the life of service to our Queen and nation by Prince Philip.

“For over 60 years he has been a dedicated public servant, and deserves our great thanks. Happy retirement, Sir.”

Former Chancellor and Editor of the London Evening Standard, George Osborne, tweeted: “A historic day. Thank you, Prince Philip, for 70 years of service and enjoy your well-deserved retirement”.

Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, simply tweeted: “Prince Philip is a great man who deserves a rest.”