Prince Philip obituary published by Sydney paper in major gaffe

If you've ever watched the live coverage of the death of a high-profile celebrity you may have found yourself wondering how it is that these writers are able to produce an impeccably worded obituary to the late great in a matter of minutes.

Well, it seems one journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald let slip an industry secret this week after an article about Prince Philip appeared in the online version of the newspaper's Obituary section on Monday afternoon.

Prince Phillip in car as early obit accidentally published by SMH
Poor Prince Philip was given a premature send off by a Sydney paper. Photo: Getty Images

The royal is due to become a centenarian in June and was last week admitted to hospital for observation after complaining of feeling unwell.

He is also alive, the latest news of the royal's health coming from grandson Prince William who says the 99-year-old is 'ok'.

The very awkward oversight seems to be down to either a pre-prepared article commemorating the Prince, due to be published after his death being released early, or a coincidental retrospective article simply being put in the wrong section of the paper.


However, a Google link to the article, 'Prince Philip Through the Years', redirects to a 404 link, pointing awkwardly to the former explanation.

The article was sold as 'the life and times of Britain's longest-serving royal consort Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in pictures'.

Photo: Getty Images/ Twitter/ MissBaileyWoof
Photo: Getty Images/ Twitter/ MissBaileyWoof

The Sydney Morning Herald has been contacted for comment.

Twitter user spots awkward gaffe

The oversight was first spotted by an eagle-eyed reader, who shared a screenshot to Twitter showing the very awkward gaffe.

The poster, who goes by 'Miss Bailey Woof' on the platform shared a screenshot showing the article, with a photo of the Prince waving.

They tell Yahoo: "The article consisted of a series of photos detailing Prince Philip’s life from infancy, school years, war service, marriage, the coronation, family life, royal duties to his wedding anniversary last year. It was very comprehensive."

The article was spotted at around 9pm and according to the time stamp published around four hours earlier at 5pm. Within half an hour of the reader spotting the oversight, the article had been pulled from the website.

The tweet attracted the attention of several users who definitely saw the funny, if awkward, side of the story.

"Someone accidentally pressed the publish button while revising the draft with latest info," one person guessed.

Another described it as 'awks' while many simple wrote 'oops'.

Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle The Duchess of Sussex
The Duke and Duchess of Sussexes baby news prompted some similarly awkward press coverage. Photo: AP

It comes after a week of very dicey reporting on the royal family, with this latest gaffe far from the worst the month of February has seen.

Aussie magazine New Idea were left red-faced after they ran with an explosive front page on Monday February 15 implying Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were splitting up.

The only problem was that hours after the glossy hit stands, the couple made world headlines with the announcement they are expecting their second child together.

The Daily Star's cover has been slammed online. Photo: Twitter
The Daily Star's cover has been slammed online. Photo: Twitter

On a slightly different wrong note, British publication The Daily Star copped heated backlash after their coverage of the couple's happy news was called 'nasty'.

The cover of last Monday's edition of the paper blew up on social media after using the headline, "Publicity-shy woman tells 7.69bn people: 'I'm pregnant'", while covering the Sussexes faces with black bars.

BBC News editor Allie Hodgkins-Brown shared a photo of the cover on Twitter, in which Meghan was called a "shy woman" and Harry was referred to as her "ginger beau".

The caption on the image also labelled the pair as a "totally normal couple doing normal things", while also pointing out the photo they chose to announce the news resembled "scenes that could have been straight from a romcom".

Within a few hours, the tweet and cover image had gone viral, with people slamming the move as "nasty" and "disgusting".

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