Royals confirm Prince Phillip is alive and well, but stepping down from public life

8:00 PM AEST | QUEEN Elizabeth’s 95-year-old husband Prince Phillip is alive and well but will retire from carrying out royal engagements from August, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The announcement follows a day of wild speculation triggered by news of the Queen’s household staff being summoned to an emergency meeting at the royal residence.

Rumours were rife for hours that the meeting concerned the health of Her Majesty or the Duke of Edinburgh.


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It was first thought an official announcement would come from the palace at 8am London time (5pm AEST) but it came two hours later.

“Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen,” the statement said.

“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.”

Prince Phillip appeared in good health as he officially opened the new Warner Stand at Lords Cricket Ground yesterday.

The Queen will continue to attend official engagements.

The world’s longest-reigning living monarch celebrated her 91st birthday last month.

5:40 PM AEST | THE Royal correspondent for BBC Peter Hunt says the meeting at Buckingham Palace, which was called at the eleventh hour, has nothing to do with the health of either the Queen or Prince Philip.

It’s understood the meeting was called around 11pm London time with the Queen’s entire household staff summoned from the across the United Kingdom but was not scheduled to convene until 10am this morning.

As per protocol, if anything significant had happened overnight, an announcement would have been made at or shortly after 8am London time (5:00 PM AEST) and is usually broadcast via the official broadcaster.

At it stands, no such announcement has been made. It’s now 8:40 am in London.

3:40 PM AEST | THE world is holding its breath as it desperately waits for official details on an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace in London.

The rumour mill has been in overdrive for hours now after news of the urgent royal meeting, which was called at the eleventh hour, broke on social media just before midday AEST.

The Queen’s entire household staff were summoned from across the United Kingdom around 11pm London time to attend the meeting, which is believed to have been scheduled for sometime this morning local time.

So far, however, no official information has been released from the Palace which in turn has allowed for speculation to spiral out of control online.

It’s understood such meetings involving the entire royal household are called occasionally throughout the year, however, royal watchers say the timing of this particular one is “highly unusual”.

Rumours are rife that the last-minute meeting concerns the health of Her Majesty, who just celebrated her 91st birthday, or her 95-year-old husband the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip.

Both the Queen and Prince Phillip, however, were seen out and about attending official engagements yesterday.

Prince Phillip appeared to be in good health as he officially opened the new Warner Stand at Lords Cricket Ground, while the Queen met with Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, to dissolve parliament.

The royal pair is due to attend a church service and lunch at St James’ Palace later today.

It is anticipated that the Palace will make an official announcement in the coming hours.

As per protocol, if anything significant has happened overnight, an announcement will be made at or shortly after 8am London time (5:00 PM AEST) and is usually broadcast via the BBC.

It is currently 6:40 AM in London.

12:30 PM AEST | QUEEN Elizabeth’s entire household staff have been summoned from across the United Kingdom to attend an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace.

The highly unusual meeting, which was called at the eleventh hour, has sent the rumour mill into overdrive.

It’s understood servants will 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 in the coming hours.

Speculation is rife online that the announcement will have to do with either Her Majesty, who just celebrated her 91st birthday or her 95-year-old husband the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip.

Crowds are gathering outside the palace and police have reportedly closed roads around the Royal residence.

It’s currently 3:30 am in London.