A number of celebrities have fallen victim to cruel death hoaxes through the years, from Sylvester Stallone right through to Paul McCartney and Morgan Freeman. However, it was the royal family who had to face bizarre online rumours at the weekend.
False claims began circulating online that Prince Philip, 97, had died, despite there being no official confirmation or statement released by the palace. The claims spread so far they actually began trending on social media on Friday and Saturday.
The Sun now reports it got so out of hand, the Queen even had to call her husband from Balmoral – where she was staying at the time – after she was left “absolutely fuming”.
The publication reports Buckingham Palace was flooded with calls from concerned people hearing the rumours and looking for confirmation, while it’s alleged the Queen was angry the fake news had got so out of hand.
“They both agreed there was little they could do but they are very, very annoyed,” a source told the news outlet. “It’s not nice to hear people the world over commenting on your health or death, even if you’re used to being in the public eye.”
Sources added that Philip is in good health at the moment, and was staying in Sandringham while his wife travelled. Her Majesty was reportedly alerted to the false claims when staff members asked how her husband of 70 years was feeling.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment to the publication.
It comes just weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh joined his wife for an afternoon of polo for the Cartier Queen’s Cup Final at Windsor Great Park in Berkshire – a rare outing for him after he retired from his royal duties last year.
Prince Philip was admitted to hospital just before Easter due to an ongoing hip problem and underwent hip replacement surgery. It was also reported that he suffered a cracked rib shortly before the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but put on a brave face to witness his grandson getting married. However, he flashed a smile and looked in good health for the polo event.
The duke has attended a total of 22,219 solo engagements since 1952 and has given up some special causes that are very close to his heart since stepping down.