LONDON (REUTERS) - Prince Philip, the 95-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, joked on Thursday (May 4) about no longer being able to "stand up much" as Buckingham Palace announced he would retire this year from active public life.
Philip, who is also known as the Duke of Edinburgh and has sometimes drawn attention with headline-grabbing gaffes, has been by the queen's side throughout her 65 years on the throne and she has described him as "my strength and stay".
At an engagement at St James's Palace in central London with his wife on Thursday, a guest told Philip he was sorry to hear he was standing down.
"I can't stand up much," quipped the prince, whose off-the-cuff remarks have sometimes landed him in hot water.
The announcement of Prince 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.
However, a well-placed source said there was no cause for concern about the health of the queen or Philip, who turns 96 next month.
The couple, who married at Westminster Abbey in 1947, are due to celebrate their platinum, or 70th, wedding anniversary in November.