Prince Philip makes public appearance after announcing sudden retirement

Hours after announcing his sudden retirement from royal duties on Thursday morning, Prince Philip stepped out with his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 95, appeared at the Order of Merit Service at St. James' Palace in London and both appeared to be in good health and spirits.

SEE ALSO: UK's Prince Philip to step down from royal duties

"The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arrive for today's Service for Members of the Order of Merit at the Chapel Royal, St. James's Palace," the royal family's official Twitter account posted alongside a photo of the couple.

The outing came after Buckingham Palace released a statement to announce that Philip will be done with official royal duties at the end of August.

See photos of Prince Philip through the years:

"Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen," the statement said. "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."

A clip emerged from the couple's official appearance on Thursday of an interaction between Philip and a guest, where the Duke of Edinburgh makes a joke about his old age.

"I'm sorry to hear you're standing down," the guest says as he shakes Philip's hand.

"Well, I can't stand up much longer!" he responds.

The announcement came hours after an alleged emergency meeting at 3 a.m. that prompted rumors that the Duke of Edinburgh was in bad health. However, sources close to the Palace maintain that both Philip and Her Majesty, 91, are healthy. Philip turns 96 in June.

The couple is set to celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November.

See photos of the couple together:

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