It was announced at noon today London time that His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died peacefully in his sleep last night. Here is the full statement from Buckingham Palace:
Of course, I will write much more about this developing story in due course. However, having had about 20 minutes to digest it, here are my first thoughts:
- Harry will likely want to come back to London for the funeral. I am almost certain that Meghan will say she cannot fly, as she is too far along in her pregnancy.
- Per the rules listed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and used for Charles and Camilla’s recent diplomatic trip to Greece, dignitaries and other diplomatic people will be able to seek an exemption to the 2-week quarantine period with a negative COVID-19 test.
- Clarence House, the Royal Family, and Kensington Palace’s social media account pictures have all changed to black and white coats of arms, insignia, or monograms. The SussexRoyal Instagram account has not – this means that they were not kept in the loop on communication plans in the case of a royal funeral. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was updated in the next day or two, but for now, it is still their monogram on a blue background.
- Although it’s not about Prince Philip and was written pre-COVID and is therefore somewhat out of date, if you’re interested in the protocol around royal deaths and funerals, I highly recommend this long piece by Sam Knight in The Guardian. FYI, Prince Philip’s code name was Forth Bridge: “London Bridge is Down: The secret plans for the days after the Queen’s death”
Thank you for reading. Please stay safe and wear a mask.