Photo: Jeff Spicer / Stringer / Getty Images

After Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip called for an emergency meeting of the royal staff, speculation rose about their well-being. Prince Philip, in particular, is a concern because of his recent episodes of ill-health.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip looked happy and well yesterday when they met with Prime Minister Theresa May at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. But when the Queen summoned her royal staff to Buckingham Palace for an emergency meeting, people began speculation about the health of the Queen and her husband. Britain woke to overnight hysteria with a Prince Philip death hoax circulating the Internet. Here’s what you need to know and more about the Duke of Edinburgh in our Prince Philip wiki.

Royal Lineage

Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the Greek island of Corfu. He’s the youngest of five children born to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. He renounced his titles and adopted the surname, Mountbatten (from his maternal grandfather, Louis Mountbatten) during World War I.

He comes from Greece, but he doesn’t speak Greek because he was a only baby when he and his parents escaped to France when the Greeks lost in the 1919-1922 Greco-Turkish War. Prince Philip was initially studying in Paris before he was sent to the UK to study, and then later to Germany. He is of English, Russian, German, Prussian, and Danish ancestry.

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Wartime Service

Prince Philip graduated from Royal Naval College, Dartmouth as the best cadet in the course, and then joined the Royal Navy. He served in the British forces during World War II, while two of his brothers-in-law served on the opposing side.

Among his other military engagements, he served in the Battle of Crete, Battle of Cape Matapan, and was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour. At 21 years old, he was the youngest first lieutenant of the Royal Navy.

A Long Engagement

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are actually related. They are third cousins and second cousins once removed. They met at a cousin’s wedding and a second time at the Royal Naval College, when then-Princess Elizabeth accompanied her parents. The 13-year-old princess fell in love with the 18-year-old. They exchanged letters during the time he was away on duty.

In 1946, Prince Philip asked King George for his daughter’s hand in marriage. He consented, but Elizabeth was very young, so they kept their engagement a secret and announced it after Elizabeth’s 21st birthday in 1947, with King George giving his official consent to their engagement.

On the morning of their wedding, the King made Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London. Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth’s wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey was broadcast to 200 million people worldwide, on radio and TV. Post-War Britain didn’t deem it acceptable to invite Philip’s sisters, who had married German princes, or any of his German relatives to the wedding.

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They will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in November 2017, making theirs the longest marriage of any British sovereign. They have four children, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne. They are grandparents to eight grandchildren and great grandparents to five little princes and princesses.

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Is Prince Philip Racist?

Well, he’s not exactly racist, but the man is known to make some verbal faux pas. He is said to be very blunt and has made some gaffes with controversial remarks. He has often made racist jokes that have drawn criticism.

He once apologized for a derogatory comment against Indian workers. He told British students in China, “If you stay here much longer you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” His gaffes go from Scottish drinking habits to the hearing and visually impaired. He even innocently asked a black politician from which exotic part of the world he was from, and likened traditional Nigerian clothing to pajamas.

But most don’t take offense. They say he tries to lighten the mood with silly jokes for people who are nervous about meeting a royal. Whatever Prince Philip says is all in good humor. He described his gaffe tendencies as “Dontopedalogy…the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, a science which I have practised for a good many years.”

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Prince Philip Death Hoax

The Queen called for a meeting of the royal staff at the Buckingham Palace on Wednesday (May 3), which led to frenzied speculation about Prince Philips’ health. At the age of 95, his health is a matter of concern and many thought he was either dead or on his deathbed.

While Palace officials repeatedly stated that there was nothing unusual about the meeting summons and that there was no cause for concern, the speculation just didn’t die down. Many were waiting for the Palace to officially make a statement through BBC. While people were pulling their hairs out in frustration, the British network finally revealed that Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are alive and well. The purpose of the meeting was to announce that Prince Philip would be stepping down from carrying out royal engagements.

The last time there was a royal family death hoax was in December. That time, both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had a bad case of cold and canceled their annual Christmas trip. That made the Internet buzz about Queen Elizabeth’s death, which too, was ultimately false.

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