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He’s served at Queen Elizabeth‘s side for the last 70 years, but the Duke of Edinburgh is finally calling it quits. At the ripe ol’ age of 95, Prince Philip is stepping down as Her Majesty’s public consort and is ready to enjoy retirement and embark on life out of the spotlight. Buckingham Palace released a short but sweet statement announcing the news, and we couldn’t be happier for him.

“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of The Queen.”

The statement goes on to say that he will continue to attend to “previously scheduled engagements between now and August,” both by himself and accompanying The Queen. But after that, he will no longer be accepting invitations for new visits, “although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.” Phew! So he won’t totally be out of the royal picture.

Philip’s retirement announcement came hours after reports that a “highly unusual” emergency meeting was held at Buckingham Palace Thursday morning, with many speculating that it was a health issue involving one of the older royals. It didn’t help that #BuckinghamPalace, The Queen, Prince Philip and Royal Family were all trending on Twitter.

So after 70 years of service (since 1952, The Duke of Edinburgh has carried out 22,191 solo engagements), and being a patron, president or member of over 780 (!!!) organizations, he’s throwing in the royal towel. The Palace’s statement did reassure everyone that Her Majesty will maintain her official engagements, so nothing to worry about on that front.

Getty Images
Getty Images

It does make us wonder, what with Philip’s impending retirement and Elizabeth’s scaled-back duties, if it’s a sign that things are coming to a head, and that the younger royals will need to pick up where their grandparents are leaving off. It has to happen eventually, but Elizabeth and Philip aren’t making it easy on Will, Kate and the rest of the royals, because, heck, that’s a lot to live up to.

For now, though, we can all relax. Elizabeth and Philip are fine, in good health and doing what they do best — working. Heck, mere hours after Philip’s retirement announcement was made, he and the Queen were back at it. There really is no rest for the wicked. Or the good.