Standard faces possible PCC rap over Prince Philip cancer story

The Evening Standard is facing possible censure by the Press Complaints Commission after a front page story about Prince Philip having cancer was denied by the Palace.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The Duke of Edinburgh has authorised us to confirm that the claim made by the Evening Standard that he has received a ‘diagnosis of prostate cancer’ is untrue.”

The Standard reported that Philip, 87, was diagnosed with the condition while being treated in a London hospital for a chest infection in April.

The palace statement read: “We believe that the Evening Standard’s front page story today titled ‘Prince Philip Defies Cancer Scare’ is a serious breach of Prince Philip’s privacy.

“Buckingham Palace has always maintained that members of the Royal Family have a right to privacy, particularly in relation to their personal health.

“For this reason, we have always refused to confirm or deny the persistent rumours that circulate about their health, particularly during the quieter news months.

“We will continue to observe this long-standing practice; but on this occasion, because the damaging story is now being reported widely, the Duke of Edinburgh has authorised us to confirm that the claim made by the Evening Standard that he has received a ‘diagnosis of prostate cancer’ is untrue.

“We believe there has been a serious breach of the Duke of Edinburgh’s right to privacy and we will be taking this issue to the Press Complaints Commission.

“We will be asking the PCC to remind all editors of their obligations.”

With regard to privacy, the newspaper industry’s code of practice states: “Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.

“Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual’s private life without consent.”

Palace officials earlier highlighted the fact that no changes have been made to the Duke’s diary of engagements, which includes commitments and official dinners in Edinburgh next week.

The Duke, who has been married to the Queen since 1947, spent three days in the King Edward VII’s Hospital in April.

The prostate gland, which is part of the male reproductive system, is usually the shape and size of a walnut but it increases slowly in size with age.

The risk of getting prostate cancer rises as men become older and most men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer are over 50.

John Neate, chief executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said prostate cancer was the most commonly diagnosed form of the disease in men in the UK and warned all men to increase their awareness of it.

But he added: “Unlike many other cancers, prostate cancer is different in that in some cases it will not cause any problems in a man’s lifetime.”

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