Buckingham Palace Reports Prince Philip Is Not Dead Amid Online Speculation

Buckingham Palace has officially refuted rumors that Prince Philip is dead.

News outlets in the United Kingdom were buzzing this week with rumors that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had passed away or was in poor health. Queen Elizabeth II's husband has not attended a public event with the family for some time, sparking speculation that got out of control.

When the stories reached a fever pitch, the royal family was forced to officially deny them. On Friday, representatives from the Cabinet Office spoke to reporters from the Birmingham Digest, confirming that Prince Philip is very much alive.

According to their report, the rumors began when news outlets began posting stories about the rules of succession, and what will happen within the royal family when Prince Philip does eventually pass on. However, the stories were misread or misunderstood by those who only look at headlines, and ultimately the game of telephone fell apart.

Add to that Prince Philip's on-again off-again health battles. The 97-year-old has made fewer public appearances in recent months, though he was present for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Both he and Queen Elizabeth II skipped Prince Louis' Christening earlier this month.

Official word of Prince Philip's passing would almost certainly start with the British Broadcasting Corporation, which operates as a public service in the United Kingdom.

Prince Philip officially retired from royal duties last August, according to a report by Express. The Duke of Edinburgh reportedly joked that he was "the world's most experienced plaque-unveiler" at the time. He has had a prolific career in public service, having written a total of 14 books.

The report goes on to speculate that Prince Philip will likely be laid to rest in Frogmore Gardens, the private retreat within Windsor Castle. He and the queen spend a lot of time there, and both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are reportedly buried there as well.

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After the queen and Prince Philip are laid to rest, Prince Charles is next in line for the British throne. The Prince of Wales is 69 years old himself. After that, the rules of succession dictate that the throne would go to Prince William. As the firstborn child of the royal family, William's line would carry on, so his successor is Prince George, followed by Princess Charlotte and finally the newborn Prince Louis.

If, for some reason, none of William's three children could rule, Prince Harry would inherit the throne.