Rumors that Prince Philip or Queen Elizabeth II have died are spreading online after reports of an emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace, but though there are not officials reports yet, there may already be an answer to that question.
Word of the emergency meeting spread in the early morning hours on Thursday, with speculation rampant that the queen or her husband may have died.
As News.com.au reported, the meeting was seen as highly unusual.
“Servants will be addressed by the Royal Household’s most senior officer Lord Chamberlain and Her Majesty’s Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt in just hours.
“The meeting, called suddenly and described as highly unusual by royal watchers, has sent Britain’s rumour mill into a concerned frenzy.”
News of the emergency Buckingham Palace meeting led to a number of reporters showing up outside the palace gates, and prompted many around the world to seek out whether Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip had died.
As the Daily Star noted, Buckingham Palace may have already answered the question of whether Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip had died, with the traditional lowering of the flag not taking place.
“The Royal Household has told Daily Star Online no one is available to answer our questions – so we sent a reporter to Buckingham Palace,” the report noted. “Rumours have spread on social media that the flag is flying at half-mast – usually a sign someone has died. But Daily Star Online can confirm the flag is at full mast.”
There are others dismissing the reports that either Prince Philip or Queen Elizabeth II have died. A report from Stuff.co.nz spoke to a source at Buckingham Palace that said there are no reports that either have died — or even that the two of them are in ill health.
“I haven’t been told anything, so as far as I’m aware the Queen and the Duke are very much alive,” a staff member told the outlet.
There were also reports noting that both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were seen earlier in the day on Wednesday, with both appearing in good health and good spirits. Reporter Tom Steinfort even shared a picture of the queen meeting with Teresa May and Prince Philip paying a visit to Lords Cricket Ground.
But despite the denials, there are still widespread rumors that either Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip may have died, with many reports on social media that it was Philip who passed away. None of the reports are confirmed, however.
The reports are complicated by the fact that Queen Elizabeth II has been the subject of false rumors in the past, including late last year when an illness prompted rampant speculation that she had died or was dying. The royal family matriarch was laid up around the holidays for what palace officials described as a “heavy cold,” one that kept her from the traditional Christmas trip north of London.
That led to fake reports that Queen Elizabeth had died. As the Mirror noted, one of those reports came from a fake BBC account that claimed she was dead.
@BBCNewsUKI tweeted, “BREAKING: Buckingham Palace announces the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 90. Circumstances are unknown. More to follow.”
That tweet went viral, prompting many people to share condolences and pictures of Britain’s longtime queen. But it was soon identified as a fake, and Queen Elizabeth II recovered from her illness in the following days.
Buckingham Palace will reportedly address the rumors that Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip have died at a news conference on Thursday morning.
[Featured Image by Ray Collins – WPA Pool/Getty Images]