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Theresa May pays tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh: 'I want to offer our deepest gratitude'

Prince Philip will be stepping down from his royal duties this autumn

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Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
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Theresa May has released a statement following the news that Prince Philip will be standing down from his royal duties from autumn this year. Thanking the royal for his many years of service, she 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."

READ: Prince Philip: a look back on his many years of service

She added: "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." Jeremy Corbyn also paid tribute, writing: "I would like to pay tribute to Prince Philip following his decision to retire from public service. He has dedicated his life to supporting the Queen and our country with a clear sense of public duty."

The Chief Executive of the Muscular Dystrophy UK, Robert Meadowcroft, 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… 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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The Duke of Edinburgh has been Patron for Muscular Dystrophy UK for over 50 years

READ: Prince Philip, 95, to stand down from official duty

Buckingham Palace released the statement on Thursday which read: "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. Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen. 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."

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Fans of the royal family spoke fondly about the Prince following the news on Twitter, with one writing: "Thank you Prince Phillip for your humour, dedication and service. Enjoy your well deserved retirement." Another joked about what the announcement could be, writing: "Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip to host next season of #GreatBritishBakeOff #BuckinghamPalace." Others were quick to joke about the British public panicking about what the news could be, with one writing: "When you're British and wake up to see #buckinghampalace and Prince Phillip trending," accompanied by a gif of Steve Carrell shouting 'Everyone stay calm!'.

READ: Prince Philip's most memorable quotes

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