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Prince Philip jokes about advanced years

Prince Philip jokes about advanced years

In this Thursday, May 19, 2011 file photo, Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh looks at Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, during their visit to the National Stud Farm in Kildare, Ireland. Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, will stop carrying out public engagements this fall, Buckingham Palace announced Thursday May 4, 2017. AP/File

LONDON (AP) — Prince Philip has joked about his advanced years at a palace reception hours after officials announced his retirement from public duties.


Responding to a comment from mathematician Michael Atiyah, who told him he was sorry to hear he was standing down, Philip quipped: "Well I can't stand up much longer."


The royal looked relaxed as he attended a reception for members of the Order of Merit at St. James's Palace Thursday, alongside Queen Elizabeth II.


The Order of Merit is an honor given to those with achievements in the arts, learning, literature and science.


Prime Minister Theresa May has expressed "our deepest gratitude and good wishes" to Prince Philip following the announcement of his impending retirement, and has thanked him for supporting his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.


Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will stop carrying out public engagements sometime between now and August.


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The palace said Thursday that the 95-year-old Philip will continue heading numerous charitable organizations but will not play an active role attending engagements.


In the past Philip has suffered heart problems but has maintained a vigorous public schedule.


Buckingham Palace officials tell The Associated Press that a meeting of royal household staff has been called, but one says there is "no cause for concern."


The officials spoke Thursday after a report by Britain's Daily Mail of an unusual meeting of royal household staff sparked speculation about the health of Queen Elizabeth II, 91, and her husband, Prince Philip, 95.


One of the officials said the meeting is not related to the health of any senior royals. Three palace officials spoke to AP only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.


Elizabeth and Philip appeared to be in good health Wednesday. The queen met with Prime Minister Theresa May at the palace and Philip made an appearance at a London cricket club.


One of the officials said household meetings are called from time to time.


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