With So Many Hoaxes Over the Years, No One Will Believe It When Prince Philip Really Dies

Prince Philip has died more than 15 times in the last year.

At least, that’s what certain news outlets would have you believe. It seems like every week there’s a new story insisting that the 98-year-old Duke of Edinburgh is “secretly” deceased and that Buckingham Palace is keeping his death a secret for one reason or another.

It’s true that no one lives forever and that soon enough, both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip will die. But with so many hoaxes about Philip’s death, it will be hard to convince the public of the truth when it inevitably does happen.

Prince Philip
Prince Philip | Danny Lawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

The latest rumors of Prince Philip’s death cropped up amid the coronavirus panic

The most recent Prince Philip death hoax is, predictably, linked to coronavirus. Fans on social media are claiming that the British royal family is keeping the Duke of Edinburgh’s death a secret until a full-scale lockdown happens. It’s all an effort to keep citizens from congregating outside Buckingham Palace, which they’ll undoubtedly do when Philip really does die.

This is only one in a long line of predictions that Prince Philip was secretly dead. So far, none of them have been factual.

People can’t seem to accept the truth that Prince Philip is still alive

Prince Philip
Prince Philip | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The rumors about Prince Philip’s death began in force after he retired from royal duties in Aug. 2017. Ever since, the public hasn’t seen him as much, which has just fueled the gossip mill even more. For every monthlong stretch that goes by without seeing the Duke of Edinburgh, more and more people start spreading lies about his secret death.

It’s not that people want Prince Philip to die — they just want to be the first to know. But why?

Prince Philip’s death will be different from Queen Elizabeth’s

When Prince Philip does die — for real — a carefully orchestrated series of events will be set into motion. This plan even has a nickname. It’s called Operation Forth Bridge.

The British news outlet BBC will likely be the first ones notified, though they won’t make a formal announcement until 8 a.m. the morning after Philip dies. Before then, there is a good chance that the news could leak to social media.

But like the boy who cried wolf, no one will believe Philip is truly dead when it happens after so many false alarms.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth | ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Philip doesn’t want anyone to make a fuss over his death

For his entire life, the Duke of Edinburgh has had a reputation as a stern father and an unabashed truth-teller. His one-liners are legendary — this is a man who will say whatever is on his mind, regardless of consequences. One thing he’s never made a secret of is how he wants his death handled.

Prince Philip is entitled to a full state funeral as the husband of the reigning monarch. However, he’s said in the past that he doesn’t want “all the fuss” and would prefer his funeral to be a more “low-key affair.” Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.

For now, it’s best to ignore the rumors. When Prince Philip dies, you’ll hear about it from a reputable news outlet like BBC and will see an official statement from Buckingham Palace. Until that day, it’s all just hearsay.