The Daily Telegraph accidentally reported that the Duke of Edinburgh died this morning when his obituary was published online.
Instead of clicking the ‘save’ button when updating the obituary, it appears the newspaper accidentally pressed the publish button which made the article go live on their website and social media accounts.
The pre-written article was posted under the headline “HOLD HOLD HOLD Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged XX” on Wednesday morning – the day the 96-year-old retires from public duty.
Looks as though the Telegraph broke the embargo on the big Prince Philip news. pic.twitter.com/DnZM7aeeZD
— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) August 2, 2017
The article gave extensive details about the Prince’s life as well as plans for his funeral.
Within minutes, the article was deleted from the website, and a post was deleted from Twitter, however, not before concerned readers took screenshots and posted them on social media.
A spokesperson for the Telegraph said: “We sincerely apologise for the mistake that was made this morning, which was, of course, rectified immediately. We will be reviewing our publishing processes as a matter of urgency.”
It is not the first time a newspaper has prematurely announced the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. In May, The Sun published an article titled: “Prince Philip dead at 95, how did the Duke of Edinburgh die, etc etc”.
All media organisations have obituaries prepared in the event of a member of The Royal Family dying so information can be posted online quickly. Unfortunately, on occasions, these pieces are posted early due to the wrong button being pressed.
The BBC also regularly has obituary rehearsal days where they practice what to do when The Queen dies.