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Prince Philip will 'no longer play an active role' with charities

04 May 2017 News

The Duke of Edinburgh will retire from his royal duties this autumn and no longer play an active role in the 780 charities and organisations he is associated with.

Prince Philip is patron, president or a member of over 780 organisation, with which he will continue to be associated, although he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements. He is the patron of a number of charities, including the British Heart Foundation, Charities Aid Foundation and Book Aid. 

He also created the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award charity in 1956, which helps to develop young people for life and work.

Buckingham Palace made the announcement this morning that Prince Philip, who turns 96 next month, has made the decision to no longer carry out public engagements, for which he has the full support of the Queen.

In the statement, Buckingham Palace said that Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled appointments between now and August, both individually and accompanying the Queen. However “thereafter, the Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time”.

Prime Minister thanks Duke for his charity work

Prime Minister Theresa May said: "On behalf of the whole country, I want to offer our deepest gratitude and good wishes to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s announcement that he will stand down from public duties in the autumn.

"From his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen to his inspirational Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his patronage of hundreds of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the wider world will be of huge benefit to us all for years to come."

Buckingham Palace confirmed that Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of members of the Royal Family.

Charities respond to Prince Philip's announcement

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

A charity spokeswoman said: "Since founding The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) in 1956 The Duke has worked tirelessly to enable millions of young people to have the opportunity to transform their lives through the DofE.

"HRH has been actively involved with the Charity for the last 61 years as its Patron and has attended over 500 Gold Award Presentations.

"We respect HRH’s decision no longer to carry out public engagements from autumn this year and are grateful for his continued Patronage.

"The DofE is growing year on year, with over 400,000 young people doing their DofE throughout the UK at any one time. We would like to thank HRH for his direction and support in creating the world’s leading youth achievement award."

British Heart Foundation

Simon Gillespie, chief executive at The British Heart Foundation, said: “On behalf of everyone at the British Heart Foundation, I would like to pay tribute to Prince Phillip and offer our heartfelt thanks for his unwavering support as our patron of more than 50 years.

“His work as patron over the years has helped us to shine a light on the devastating impact of heart disease and the importance of our life saving heart research.

“We wish Prince Phillip well for a much-deserved retirement from public engagements and we look forward to his continued support in the future.”

Charities Aid Foundation

John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: “All of us at CAF extend our thanks and good wishes to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh as he steps down from carrying out royal engagements. Prince Philip has a long record supporting charities in the UK and around the world, both behind the scenes and publically, with his patronage of around 800 organisations including CAF.

 “The Royal Family plays a vital role supporting charities and encouraging people to give. Many of us might not have heard of some of these remarkable charities if it were not for the Royal Family’s enduring commitment to them. 

 “CAF has greatly benefitted from the support of our Patron, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh over many years, and it is good to see the Royal Family continuing as a powerful advocate for charities which are as important to making Britain great today as at any time in the past.”

Muscular Dystrophy UK

Robert Meadowcroft, chief executive of the Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has been our dedicated Patron for over 50 years. We cannot thank him enough for his active support, which has been a precious asset in the fight against muscle-wasting conditions.

“In 1966 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh agreed to become Patron following a request from our then President, the late Lord Richard Attenborough. He had the kindness and foresight to lend his backing to a charity focused on what was then a little known, poorly understood condition. The Duke’s backing was an ‘immense encouragement’ then, as it has remained to this day.

“Through the decades, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh has helped to raise awareness and promote understanding of this vitally important cause. He has also met hundreds of individuals and families who struggle to live with muscular dystrophy every day. These moments and memories will be cherished for many years to come.

“We at Muscular Dystrophy UK will remain ever grateful to our Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and wish him a well-deserved and happy retirement.”


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