It was announced that the Duke of Edinburgh will stand down from public engagements from this autumn following an 'emergency' meeting at Buckingham Palace yesterday.
Prince Philip, who turns 96 next month, took the decision to retire with the "full support of The Queen", the Palace confirmed.
News of the "highly unusual" meeting, involving staff from every royal household in the country, sparked frenzied speculation about the health of the royal couple.
Will the Queen follow Prince Philip's lead and stand down? Bookies seem to think so
Some also questioned whether Her Majesty was going to abdicate.
Bookmakers William Hill suspended their betting on the Queen abdicating in 2017 following the news.
Spokesman Rupert Adams said: "If you had placed a bet yesterday you would have got 4/1 that the Queen would abdicate this year, nobody placed a bet so it could well be a false alarm."
There has been speculation over whether the Queen is going to abdicate following reports of a meeting at Buckingham Palace
Media crews were seen outside the Palace this morning
Online bookmakers sportsbet.com.au had offered odds of £9 on her majesty stepping aside this year before the announcement.
But that price is now a much shorter £3 chance.
Prince Charles is £1 to take the throne next with Prince William a £2 chance – Prince Harry pays £20.
Spokesman Will Byrne said: "There's certainly been a few eyebrows raised that this could be a precursor to a much bigger announcement from Buckingham Palace and so we've had to adjust the odds accordingly."
At New Year, bookmakers Coral quoted 5-1 for the Queen to abdicate in 2017.
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Here's what would happen if the Queen did abdicate the throne:
Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in 1952.
She famously dedicated her life to her future role as monarch on her 21st birthday, vowing to serve the Commonwealth.
She said: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong."
The Queen, Britain's longest-reigning monarch, is pictured arriving at the Palace yesterday
She famously dedicated her life to her future role as monarch on her 21st birthday, vowing to serve the Commonwealth
Her dad,George VI, was King until his death in February 1952.
Her Majesty is now Britain's longest-reigning monarch, with polls showing she remains hugely popular among people in the country.
However, if she did abdicate, the throne would be passed on to her eldest son, Prince Charles, who would become King. If this happened, he would become the oldest-ever UK monarch to be crowned.
But if he also decided to abdicate, the throne would be passed on to his eldest son, Prince William, who is currently second in line.
If the Queen did abdicate, the throne would be passed on to her eldest son, Prince Charles, who would become King
Prince William is second in line to succeed the Queen, while Prince George is third (above, the pair are pictured with the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte on Christmas Day)
The Duke of Cambridge's three-year-old son, Prince George, is third in line to succeed his great-grandma, the Queen.
Earlier today, a former royal press secretary suggested the Palace meeting may have been called because of refurbishments.
Dickie Arbiter, the Queen's press chief for 12 years, spoke out following reports senior aides from across the UK had been summoned.
Taking to Twitter this morning, Mr Arbiter said the staff meeting "could well be about the Buckingham Palace refurbishment".
Dickie Arbiter suggested royal staff may have been summoned to the meeting because of refurbishments
There have been fears over the welfare of the Queen and her husband following reports of the 'emergency' meeting
He also claimed staff being called to a meeting was "nothing unusual".
He wrote: "Staff meetings are called from time to time nothing unusual & could well be about the Buckingham Palace refurbishment."
He later added: "The Lord Chamberlain, as head of the Royal Household, has called a staff meeting as he has done in previous years."
It was reported in November that the Palace in London was due to undergo a £369million, 10-year refurbishment .
Prince Philip is pictured at Lord's Cricket Ground yesterday
The work, which will include replacing electrical wiring, water pipes and the heating system, was expected to begin last month.
The Queen was said to be fully supportive of the work.
Her Majesty is expected to remain in residence throughout, but may have to temporarily move bedrooms while the whole palace is resurfaced.
Many of her staff will also need to be temporarily relocated, some even to offices in the garden, while work on the 775-room palace is carried out.
Mr Arbiter's Tweets came after a well-placed source told Reuters there is no cause for alarm about the welfare of the Queen and her husband.
Miles of electrical wiring and water pipes will be replaced during the refurbishment
The palace's ageing water storage and heating system is also expected to be replaced
"There's no cause for alarm," the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said this morning.
The Queen's most senior aides reportedly ordered all staff from royal residences across the country to London, sparking frenzied speculation as to the reason behind the request.
Staff from royal residences further afield, such as Balmoral in Scotland, as well as those closer to London, including Windsor Castle and Sandringham were all asked to attend, suggesting the announcement will also affect them.
The Queen, who celebrated her 91st birthday last month, and Prince Philip, who turns 96 next month, still regularly carry out official duties.
However, they have cut back on their workload in recent years.
The Queen celebrated her 91st birthday last month
Meanwhile, Prince Philip turns 96 next month
Yesterday, Her Majesty met with Prime Minister Theresa May at the Palace to mark the dissolution of Parliament for the General Election.
Mrs May spent more than 30 minutes at the Palace, in a longer-than-anticipated audience with the Queen.
Prince Philip was also out on public duty yesterday when he opened the new £25million Warner Stand at Lord's .
The 95-year-old Duke wore a tie matching the ceremonial ribbon he cut to officially open the stand, named after former England captain Sir Pelham Warner.
Mirror Online has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.