Prince Philip: Speculation rife of death at 95
THE internet has gone into meltdown with speculation that Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip has died, despite no confirmation from Buckingham Palace.
The Queen summoned her entire royal staff from across the UK to a "highly unusual" 3am meeting at Buckingham Palace early on Thursday morning, London time.
The only official confirmation from Buckingham Palace is that a meeting has been called but that has not stopped wild internet speculation about the health of both the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen herself.
Many have already speculated that Prince Philip has died, despite the 95-year-old Prince and his wife looking in good health just yesterday at Lord's cricket ground.
Both the Queen and Prince Philip appeared in good health today - Her Majesty meeting Teresa May and Prince Philip at Lords Cricket Ground pic.twitter.com/ARd8iJ1mkD— Tom Steinfort (@tomsteinfort) May 4, 2017
Servants will be addressed by the Royal Household's most senior office Lord Chamberlain and Her Majesty's Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt, according to the Mail Online.
However, Royal Protocol apparently dictates that any official announcement would happen at 8am London time, which remains about four hours away.
Prince Philip, 95, at Lord's cricket ground, uttering one of his favourite lines: pic.twitter.com/pltAwfbhai— Peter Hunt (@BBCPeterHunt) May 3, 2017
Just last month, The Guardian revealed the elaborate, secret plan for when Queen Elizabeth II, the world's longest-reigning monarch, dies.
The secret code is "London Bridge is down", which kicks off Operation London Bridge, the plan to alert the world of her death.
None of the detail listed an emergency meeting being called at Buckingham Palace.
It did detail that the world would know quickly.
After the prime minister is alerted, the Foreign Office's Global Response Centre would inform the 15 governments where the Queen is still head of state, including Australia, Canada, the Bahamas and Belize.
Then the 36 nations where she still serves as a figurehead would be informed.\
Next, the Press Association would send out a news alert to simultaneously notify the world's media - a break from the past, when the BBC was always the first to know about royal deaths. Social media and modern technology have negated that system.
Thursday morning's meeting, called at the 11th hour and described as highly unusual by royal watchers, has sent Britain's rumour mill into a concerned frenzy.
The UK media has swarmed to Buckingham Palace, with speculation swirling as to what the meeting is about.
Many media have already reported Prince Philip's death, despite there being no conformation.
The Mirror reported that even the most trusted of staff have been left in the cold as to what the meeting will be about.
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"Although meetings involving the entire royal household are occasionally called, the way this has been done at the 11th hour is highly unusual and suggests that there is something major to be disseminated," the Mail Online reported.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment.
Household staff from as far as Balmoral in Scotland have reportedly been included in the roll call.
The Queen was sick over Christmas and missed some public engagements, which raised concerns about her health.
However she has recommenced some of her normal duties in recent months.
Her Majesty marked her 91st birthday last month and Prince Philip turns 96 in June.
More to come