News of a Buckingham Palace emergency meeting at 8am this morning has caused widespread concern and speculation.

Buckingham Palace emergency meeting

As many people feared for both the Queen and Prince Philip’s health, Buckingham Palace were quick to reassure the public that there was ‘no cause for concern’. The BBC were also quick to confirm that the announcement would not be regarding the health of either the Queen or Prince Philip.

Just after 10am this morning, Buckingham Palace released a statement regarding the subject of the Buckingham Palace emergency meeting.  The news was surrounding the Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The official statement revealed that Prince Philip, who is 96 in June, will no longer carry out public engagements from Autumn this year.

The Palace reported that the decision to retire is the Prince’s own decision. He, of course, has the full support of the Queen.

The Queen still carries out around 300 engagements a year despite being 91-years-old. The palace also confirmed that the Queen is not planning on following Prince Philip into retirement anytime soon. The statement said that Her Majesty will still, “carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.”

Prince Philip was seen only yesterday at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London.

So, is this the last we will see of the Duke? Hopefully not! Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Philip, “may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.” So we’ll still see him occasionally with the rest of the royals.

Read the full statement below:

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.

Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen. Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.

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.

Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.

As Prince Philip takes a step back from public life, other members of the royal family will take on more. Most noteworthy is the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who will be taking on more royal responsibilities this year. Kate and Prince William are moving from Norfolk to Kensington Palace this summer in order to take more of a central role in the royal family.