Britain's ageing Prince Philip scales back work

23rd November 2010, Comments 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip will give up dozens of duties when he turns 90 next year, palace officials said, prompting speculation Tuesday that Prince William's fiancee will take over.

The Duke of Edinburgh turns 90 on June 10, 2011 but has benefited from good health and will remain involved in more than 800 organisations.

Among the positions he will quit are his chancellorships of Edinburgh and Cambridge universities, which he has held since 1952 and 1976 respectively.

"Prince Philip will be 90 next year and he feels he should ease down on his commitments. He will still be associated with over 800 organisations," a spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said Monday.

The announcement prompted speculation in some British newspapers Tuesday that Kate Middleton, who became engaged to William last month, will step into some of Prince Philip's roles.

The couple announced their plans to marry last week although they have yet to set a date or a venue beyond saying it will be in London in the British spring or summer 2011.

A spokesman for St James's Palace, representing William, told The Daily Telegraph newspaper it was "too early to say" whether Middleton, 28, would take up some Philip's posts but said the organisations were likely to continue receiving royal patronage.

© 2010 AFP

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