At 99 years old, Prince Philip is the eldest member of the British royal family and the third oldest member of the monarchy in history. With roughly 74 years by Queen Elizabeth's side and helping her govern in every way he could until retiring from his royal duties in 2017, Philip has been around for virtually all of the most significant moments in both British and world history for the better part of the 20th and into the 21st centuries.
Now, with information breaking that Philip has been rushed to the hospital due to the fact that he is feeling unwell, the question of how the monarchy would theoretically move forward in the wake of his death is coming more into focus than ever. So, is there a certain plan set in place for when Philip does pass away? Here's what we know of the established rules surrounding royal deaths.
What will happen when Prince Philip actually passes away is somewhat pre-planned.
Like the deaths of any other royal family members in modern times, the most likely first outlet to break the official news of his passing will be the BBC, who would report on the story as soon as it occurred, or if overnight, likely at 8 a.m. GMT when they begin that day's publication.
In terms of funeral arrangements, Philip himself has made it clear that he wants little "fuss" to be made over his funeral, despite the fact that being the Queen's husband means he is entitled to full royal regalia at a state-sponsored funeral held at Westminster Hall. Although there is no official process for a timetable and location for royal funerals considering how few and far apart they are, The Times has reported in the past that Westminster is always on six-hour notice to prepare for a funeral.
However, this process has been shifted in terms of Philip's future funeral. Considering the aging royal has said he doesn't want the massive pompous ceremony usually afforded people of his stature, the more likely place his body would be housed is at St. James' Palace, where Princess Diana was kept after her untimely death.
Prince Philip was rushed to the hospital on Feb. 16, 2021 after feeling unwell.
In a statement per BBC, Philip was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London on Tuesday night "as a precautionary measure" after feeling unwell. The report confirmed that his symptoms were not related to COVID-19, but that he would likely stay admitted at the facility for a few days while he recovered and tests were done to deem the root cause of his ailments.
According to the publication, Philip was able to enter the hospital under his own strength and did not require assistance from aides, a sign that his undetermined condition may not be as advanced as some fear. The 99-year-old royal was previously admitted to the same hospital in December 2019 for the same "precautionary measure" reasoning, emerging on Christmas Eve fully recovered.