- Title: Britain's Queen, Prince Philip attend attend service at St. James's Palace
- Date: 4th May 2017
- Summary: BUCKINGHAM PALACE, LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 4, 2017) (REUTERS) ROYAL STANDARD FLAG FLYING AT FULL MAST BUCKINGHAM PALACE, CROWDS GATHERED AT PALACE, CARS DRIVING PAST
- Embargoed: 18th May 2017 12:31
- Keywords: Prince Philip Queen Elizabeth Royals Britain
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Royals
- Reuters ID: LVA0046FFAYIV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Britain's Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip attended a service on Thursday (May 4) for members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal at St James's Palace.
Prince Philip, the 95-year-old husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, will retire from carrying out royal engagements from the autumn, Buckingham Palace said on Thursday, ending more than six decades of active public life.
"Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen," the palace said in a statement.
The queen, the world's longest-reigning living monarch who celebrated her 91st birthday in April, will continue to carry out a full program of official engagements, the statement added.
A well-placed source said there was no cause for concern about the welfare 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.
They have both been cutting their workload in recent years, passing on many responsibilities to son and heir Prince Charles, and grandsons, Princes William and Harry.
Philip conducted 184 official engagements in the year to March 2016, official figures show. On Wednesday (May 3) he opened a new stand at Lord's Cricket Ground in London, while the queen met Prime Minister Theresa May to formally agree to the dissolution of parliament ahead of a June 8 election.
The service for members of the Order of Merit attended by the royal couple on Thursday was previously scheduled. Order of Merit, Britain's highest honour, recognises distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, charity, politics or literature. At any point in time, there can only be a total of 24 members of the Order of Merit. Past members of the exclusive grouping included Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, Albert Schweitzer, a French-German philosopher, and physician and Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun and a missionary.
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