Prince Philip is to step down from all official royal engagements from August of this year.
Prince Philip, 95, is the longest serving consort in British history and the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch.
A letter from Buckingham Palace says the Duke has made the personal decision that “he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year” and he has “the full support of the Queen”.
The queen, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch who celebrated her 91st birthday in April, will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements, it added.
The announcement was made following a meeting of senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace, news of which prompted speculation about the health of the royals.
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.”
Prince Philip is a patron for more than 780 organisations, but he will no longer play an active role.
The timing coincides with Prince William becoming a full time royal and giving up his air ambulance job in the summer.
The Duke of Edinburgh has done 22,191 solo engagements, 637 solo overseas visits, 5,493 speeches and has written 14 books in the course of his royal duties.
The couple, are due to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November.
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, commenting on the news that Prince Philip is to retire from carrying out royal engagements, 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.”