Philip misses Maundy Service 'with hip problem'

The Duke of Edinburgh missed the annual Maundy Service attended by the Queen because of a problem with his hip, it is understood.

Philip, who has effectively retired from royal duties, was hoping to join the monarch at the centuries-old event being staged this year at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle - where Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in May.

Royal Maundy service
The Queen at the the Royal Maundy service in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

But it is understood the 96-year-old duke, who has traditionally accompanied the Queen at the ceremony, took the decision not to take part because he has been experiencing some trouble with his hip.

It is not thought to be a serious issue as Philip, who was named as a guest in the order of service for the Maundy Thursday event, was spotted driving in Windsor Great Park on Wednesday.

Buckingham Palace would not comment on the his health but said: "The order of service was printed some weeks ago when it was hoped the Duke would be able to take part. His Royal Highness has since decided not to attend."

Last week, Philip pulled out of an official engagement with the Queen and Duke of York because he was unwell, according to reports.

He was due to attend an event at Windsor Castle to mark Andrew's new role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards but was unable to attend because he was feeling "under the weather" the Daily Mail reported.

He stepped down from his public duties last summer but on occasion does attend events with the Queen.

Each year, HM offers 'alms' to senior citizens recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations, in recognition of their service to their Church and local Community.

The dishes that the Maundy money is presented on dates back to the 1660s.

-- The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) March 29, 2018

When it was announced last year that he would be retiring from official engagements, Buckingham Palace stressed that the decision was not health-related and he had the full support of the Queen.

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