Prince Philip cuts back workload ahead of 90th birthday
It is hardly what you would call putting your feet up. But as he approaches the grand old age of 90, Prince Philip is finally scaling back his workload.
The Duke of Edinburgh is to step down from up to 20 of his most demanding roles next year – the first time he has considered cutting back on his responsibilities.
He will give up chancellorships of the University of Edinburgh, held since 1952, and the University of Cambridge, held since 1976, after his birthday on June 10 next year, Buckingham Palace said.
Scaling back duties: The Queen and Prince Philip at the Remembrance Sunday ceremony at the Cenotaph
Other roles he will relinquish include his patronage of UK Athletics, City and Guilds of London Institute and the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth.
But he will keep up a busy schedule of ceremonies and events, and remain patron or president of more than 800 other organisations, including the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Philip suffered a serious chest infection in 2008 and had an operation on his hand earlier this year, but aides stressed the move has nothing to do with his current health.
Today he is accompanying the Queen to open a new session of the General Synod at Westminster Abbey before the pair fly out tomorrow for a tour of the Gulf with Prince Andrew.
The Queen, who turns 85 in April next year, has no plans to cut back her royal duties.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said last night: ‘Prince Philip will be 90 next year and he feels he should ease down on his commitments.
‘He will still be associated with over 800 organisations.
‘He is 25 years past retirement age and works incredibly hard. The Queen has no plans to reduce her engagements. She is only 84 after all.’