How BBC and ITV interrupted programmes to announce Prince Philip's death

BBC and ITV were forced to interrupt their programming to announce Prince Philip's death today.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who was married to the Queen for 73 years and described as her constant strength, passed away "peacefully" at Windsor Castle this morning.

* Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip's death



On BBC One, programming was interrupted by a special "News Report" with a black screen.

Presenter Martine Croxall then said: "We are interrupting our normal programmes to bring you an important announcement.

"A short while ago Buckingham Palace announced the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

The national anthem was then played in a sign of respect.

BBC radio stations also immediately interrupted broadcasts with the news of his death.

Meanwhile on ITV, This Morning was taken off air abruptly following the death of Prince Philip.

Viewers were told the show would be making way for the news, but no explanation was given.

During an interview with Coronation Street's Alan Halsall, Eamonn Holmes cut in to say: "Sorry I have to interrupt you for some very, very important news because we now, viewers, have to end This Morning and go straight to the ITV newsroom for more."



ITV newsreader Lucrezia Millarini then came on screen to announce the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

She said: "Good afternoon we are breaking into programmes to bring you an announcement from the Royal Household.

"In the last few moments we have received the following significant statement."

She then read the Queen's statement about Prince Philip.

It comes as:

  • Queen shares poignant photo of Philip as she talks of ‘deep sorrow’
  • Prince Philip funeral arrangements are revealed
  • Boris Johnson pays tribute to ‘extraordinary’ Prince Philip
  • Prince Philip’s life in pictures
  • Queen to enter ‘8 days of mourning’ for Prince Philip
  • How Prince Philip’s early years saw him flee Corfu on a warship
  • Will there be a Bank Holiday on the day of Philip’s funeral?

The official Royal Family website was quickly replaced with a single page and heartfelt tribute to the Duke.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute and said “he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.”

Speaking from a podium in Downing Street, Mr Johnson said: "He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

'DEEP SORROW'

"With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.

"We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.

"Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her 'strength and stay', of more than 70 years.

"And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation's thoughts must turn today.

"Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather."

Philip's death comes just weeks after he was taken to London’s King Edward VII Hospital on February 16 after feeling unwell.

Two weeks later, he was transferred to St Bart’s Hospital for treatment for an infection and heart condition.

Buckingham Palace then announced on Tuesday, March 16 he had been released from hospital and was in "good spirits" and "comfortable".

Philip had dedicated his life to the Queen and tragically died just before his 100th birthday in June this year.

And his death comes after a turmoil-filled 12 months for the royals after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quit the royal family. 

Prince Philip has been one of the hardest working royals – since 1952 he attended 22,219 solo engagements and 637 overseas tours in a career marked by his famous gaffes, wit and wisdom.

He had retired from his public duties at the age of 96 in 2017 after 65 years of public life.

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