Buckingham Palace staff broke royal protocol with announcement of Prince Philip’s death

Prince Philip: Royals adapted tradition due to lockdown says Mills

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Buckingham Palace were forced to break royal protocol amid concerns over public crowding. Royal household staff placed a notice of Prince Philip’s death on the gates of Buckingham Palace earlier this afternoon. The staff members, wearing black face masks, emerged to place a framed plaque, which included the Palace’s official statement, on the front gates.

But, an hour later, staff were forced to take down the notice amid fears of large gatherings of people in public as the country continues to battle with the Covid pandemic.

A paper bulletin is traditionally used to notify the public of key royal events such as births and deaths.

In the past, similar statements would have remained in place for 24 hours.

Sky News’ royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills explained: “It is worth saying that the traditional notice was placed on the gates at Buckingham Palace earlier today and at Holyrood House but they were both, fairly quickly, taken away.”

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She added: “The Palace want to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh in all the traditional ways but they are also being very conscious of the fact that they don’t want crowds to gather.”

Buckingham Palace have since asked with the public to refrain from leaving floral tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Mounted police outside of the Palace have reminded those gathered to adhere to social-distancing guidelines.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the Palace was “discouraging people from leaving flowers because that brings people together”. 

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Instead, the Palace launched an online book of condolences on its official website where it encouraged people to leave messages.

It is understood the Queen is considering modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements in light of the pandemic restrictions.

Flags are expected to fly at half-mast on all government buildings from now until 08:00 BST on the day after the funeral. 

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The sombre notice on the sign read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will be made in due course.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

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