by Graham Pierrepoint
The British monarchy is, of course, among the most famous in the world – it’s stood for centuries, and under Queen Elizabeth II, the UK has seen one of the longest-standing monarchs in recorded history. Her husband, Prince Philip, has also been a public fixture for some time – best known in the UK for his ready wit and occasional PC faux-pas – and he has been in the news again lately as a result of a decision to retire from making public trips. Prince Philip has had a series of health scares in recent years, and at the age of 96, it has been decided that he will be bowing out from making public visits.
However, this has led to some particularly poor taste mistakes being made in the media. In recent months, as it was initially suggest that the Prince would be bowing out of public engagements, some media outlets accidentally published statements as if he had passed on – similar occurrences emerged regarding former US President George HW Bush. This time, however, it was the turn of British news giant the Telegraph to get the wrong end of the stick – in possible the worst way possible.
As the Duke of Edinburgh recently made his last engagement, The Telegraph mistakenly announced to readers that the popular figurehead had passed away – in an article that advised his age to be ‘XX years’. While the story now redirects to a different story regarding the Prince, the damage was already done – as The Sun will know only too well, having made the same mistake earlier this year, only to linger around on search results for some time afterwards. It is commonplace for famous people to have obituaries lined up in the media – as it allows for a quick and respectful coverage of their passing – but there have been numerous occasions this year of such a mishap taking place.
Prince Philip retires from royal duties having clocked up over 22,000 different engagements purely on his own over the past 65 years – though it will likely not be the last we see of the Duke, as the opportunity is open for him to appear alongside the Queen in future engagements should he wish to do so – and should it be advisable. With both the Queen and the Duke in their 90s, they are among the oldest monarchs to reign – and it is a sad day for many who follow the British royal family to see Prince Philip willingly bow out.