Prince Philip did not dress up in a bearskin for a prank

29 April 2021
What was claimed

A photograph shows Prince Philip dressed up in guardsman’s uniform as a prank to amuse the Queen.

Our verdict

This photograph does show Prince Philip in the uniform of the Grenadier Guards, but it was not a prank. He was the Colonel of the Regiment.

A famous photograph of the Queen smiling beside Prince Philip dressed in a bearskin hat has been widely shared on Facebook since the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. The photograph is real, but the accompanying story about Prince Philip dressing up as a prank is not.

The text on the Facebook post claims: “Philip decided to prank his wife as dressing as part of the household guard, unbeknown to her Majesty.”

In fact, the photograph was taken by Chris Young at Windsor Castle in 2003, when an official event was disrupted by a swarm of bees.

"I got lucky," Mr Young told the BBC. "I recognised that it was a human moment. She was giggling like a little girl and he was laughing too."

Prince Philip was himself Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and was often photographed wearing this uniform on ceremonial occasions.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false because this photograph does not show Prince Philip dressed up for a prank.

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