Early in the morning, Queen Elizabeth called an urgent "all staff" meeting that sent tabloid news agencies into high alert.
The announcement released to the media by Buckingham Palace stated that Prince Philip would be stepping down from public life after completing his scheduled engagements between now and August.
Initial reports speculated that the urgent announcement was related to an illness or even that the Queen would be stepping down from her duties.
According to the statement, the Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 96 in June, has "the full support of the Queen," and he will no longer take on public engagements after autumn of this year; however, he may attend public events "from time to time."
(Full press release below)
Staff from royal residences from across the country were called to London to be addressed by Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official in the Royal Household and Her Majesty's Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt.
Although the Duke will be stepping down from public life, "Her Majesty will continue to carry out a full programme of official engagements with the support of the royal family."
[h/t Esquire UK]