Buckingham Palace: Royal aides emergency meeting 'no cause for alarm'

Prince Philip will permanently stand down from royal duties in the autumn Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday

The announcement of Philip's retirement was made following a meeting of all senior royal staff at Buckingham Palace, news of which prompted media speculation about the health of the royals.

The official, who spoke to the AP only on condition of anonymity, said household meetings are called from time to time.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip stand on the balcony of Roemer townhall in Frankfurt, Germany in 2015.

Such internal royal meetings usually happen about once a year.

The Mail reported that the royal staff would be addressed by the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior officer of the Royal Household, and the queen's Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt.

The 95-year-old Prince Philip has the full support of the Queen.

A source close to the royal family was quick to dismiss rumours that the meeting has anything to do with the health of Queen Elizabeth (91) and Prince Phillip (96).

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She met with Prime Minister Theresa May during the afternoon, to mark the dissolution of parliament ahead of the June 8 snap general election.

Buckingham Palace is yet to give an official announcement, but said there is "no cause for alarm".

A well-placed source confirmed to AFP that staff from around the country had been called to the palace for a meeting today, but insisted: "There is no cause for alarm".

Last year Buckingham Palace also announced that she would step down as patron of around 25 national organisations - including the NSPCC and Wimbledon tennis - after she turned 90 in April. He has continued a gruelling schedule of public engagements since her ascension to the throne in 1952.

So it turns out Prince Philip isn't dead.

The royal joked about his advanced years at a reception with the queen Thursday, saying "I can't stand up much longer" after a well-wisher expressed sadness at his decision to retire.

It means the Queen will now have more solo engagements, as will other royals, such as Prince William, who will be leaving his job as an air ambulance helicopter pilot in the summer to take on more royal duties.

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