What does Prince Philip's retirement mean for the royal family? A heck of a lot.

News of Prince Philip’s retirement came as a surprise to many – and perhaps a relief to those who read mistaken reports he had died.

Meanwhile, for those of us who didn’t even know a royal could retire, it’s been confusing.

So what does Queen Elizabeth’s husband retiring actually mean for the British royal family?

Listen: If Meghan Markle marries Harry, this will mean big changes to her life too.

The 95-year-old attended royal engagements on 110 days last year, and his choice to end these duties will impact the rest of his family substantially, according to royal biographer Marcia Moody.

“The announcement is significant, as this will mean a change in structure for the entire royal family,” Moody told Harper’s Bazaar UK.

Essentially, Moody explained, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry will have to pick up the slack as Prince Philip no longer takes an active role in the charities he supports.

“It may well be that we see the Prince of Wales and other members of the family accompanying the Queen on more engagements now,” she said.

We can expect to see a lot less of Prince Philip. (Image via Getty.)

"Currently the Duke of Edinburgh is a patron of hundreds of charities, and although he will still be involved in some way, many of these patronages will need to be readdressed and where appropriate, passed on to other members of the family.

"Therefore we're likely to be seeing a lot more of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry."

Camilla Tominey, royal editor of London's Sunday Express, told the Today Show that Prince Philip's retirement will also likely affect how much the public sees the Queen.

"I think for the Queen it means she will be allowed to step back a little bit," she told Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson on Thursday morning.

"They don't want her to give up engagements altogether. Neither does she want that.

"I think we will still see him at royal occasions but essentially at 95, nearly 96, he turns 96 next month, there is a sense that he needs to make some concessions in light of his age."

Kensington Palace did not mention any serious health concerns in its announcement of the Duke of Edinburgh's retirement, but the decision will allow him more time to rest and pursue hobbies.