Update (9:23 a.m.): Rumors circulating of Prince Philip’s death turned out to be false. The emergency meeting that took place at Buckingham Palace was to announce that Prince Philip will retire from royal duties this fall. The palace said Philip will continue his role with more than 780 charitable organizations but will not attend engagements.
Reports circulated on Wednesday night that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and longtime husband to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, has died.
News of the prince’s alleged death began to circulate late Wednesday night after reports leaked that an emergency meeting had taken place at Buckingham Palace. The irregularity of such a meeting caused great speculation that something catastrophic had occurred.
“Although meetings involving the entire royal household are occasionally called, the way this has been done at the eleventh hour is highly unusual and suggests that there is something major to be disseminated,” the Daily Mail reported.
The Duke of Edinburgh was born Philip Mountbatten in the Kingdom of Greece in 1921. Philip began a romance with Queen Elizabeth in 1939. They were married in 1947. Throughout Queen Elizabeth’s reign, Prince Philip served as a lighthearted and oftentimes mischievous foil for his loving wife. For many decades, the World War II vet was by his wife’s side as she ruled and became well known for his rambunctious personality.
Per official protocol, Buckingham Palace has refrained from offering comment. Long standing tradition dictates that major news concerning the royal family must be announced at 8AM. Speculation arose that the news may have been an elaborate Twitter-based death hoax.