Telegraph publishes unfinished story wrongly announcing Prince Philip's death as he retires from royal duties

The Duke of Edinburgh’s retirement from official royal duties, which comes into effect today, has once again inspired journalists to prematurely announce his death.

In a clearly unfinished article published online at 10.28am this morning, The Telegraph ran with the headline: “HOLD HOLD HOLD Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged XX.”

The copy read: “The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving consort to a monarch in British history, has died at the age of XX, Buckingham Palace has announced.

“Prince Philip, whom the Queen described as her “strength and stay” during her record-breaking reign, passed away XXXXXXX


“He will be given a royal ceremonial funeral in line with his wishes, which is expected to take place in seven days’ time.”

It follows a similar error by The Sun online in May this year when it published a piece claiming the Queen’s husband had died. It came as speculation grew about an “emergency meeting” at Buckingham Palace – which turned out to be news of the Duke’s impending retirement.

The Telegraph story included information on Prince Philip’s recent health scares and a look back on his life, as well as a note that “no official funeral details have been released by Buckingham Palace yet”.

The copy also contains a message to staff, saying: “This file needs to be a living file – and will serve Apple News as well as be the main news story. Please stick to the format below.”

A Telegraph spokesperson said: “We sincerely apologise for the mistake that was made this morning, which was of course rectified immediately.

“We will be reviewing our publishing processes as a matter of urgency”

The story has since been taken down and replaced with one headlined: “Prince Philip retires: Duke of Edinburgh to meet Royal Marines at final public event.”

In 2015 a BBC reporter wrongly tweeted that the Queen had died after seeing the news appear on an internal TV monitor as part of a technical rehearsal.

The reporter was found to have committed “a serious breach” of guidelines by the BBC Trust in a review of the incident.



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2 thoughts on “Telegraph publishes unfinished story wrongly announcing Prince Philip's death as he retires from royal duties”

  1. Indeed, it’s what you get. Compounded by employing a bunch of excitable kids straight out of university, with no experience of working in a news room and with no old hands to guide them.

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