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Is Prince Philip Sick? The Duke Of Edinburgh Is Stepping Down From His Duties

When Buckingham Palace announced Thursday that the Duke of Edinburgh is stepping down from his official duties in the fall, one question that arose is, Is Prince Philip sick? When royal staff around the UK were called to London for a meeting Thursday, speculation abounded that a member of the Royal Family had died, or a death was imminent. Then the announcement came that the 95-year-old prince is stepping down from his official duties in August, USAToday reported.

A Palace statement released to the media said,

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year... 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.

There was no mention of the prince being ill. Philip has generally been in good health for his 95 years, although NBC News reported that both he and the queen were suffering from heavy colds in December. In 2015, the Daily Beast reported that he cut down his appearances, leading to speculation that he was near death, but his rigorous schedule since — CNN reported that Prince Philip attended 200 events in 2016 — proved that notion unfounded. As far as we know, the guy is 95 and has decided he deserves some downtime. Given that he supports 780 organizations, it's clear he's earned it.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November.