Palace to make privacy complaint

Prince Philip cancer story said to be false and to breach PCC Code on privacy

Buckingham Palace has issued a statement denying the truth of an Evening Standard article claiming that Prince Philip has prostate cancer and stating that a privacy complaint will be made to the Press Complaints Commission.

The London evening newspaper had reported on its front page yesterday that the Duke of Edinburgh, 87, had been diagnosed with the condition by a London hospital while being treated for a chest infection in April.

The palace statement read:

“We believe that the Evening Standard’s front page story today titled ‘Prince Philip Defies Cancer Scare’ is a serious breach of Prince Philip’s privacy. Buckingham Palace has always maintained that members of the Royal Family have a right to privacy, particularly in relation to their personal health. For this reason, we have always refused to confirm or deny the persistent rumours that circulate about their health, particularly during the quieter news months.

“We will continue to observe this long-standing practice; but on this occasion, because the damaging story is now being reported widely, the Duke of Edinburgh has authorised us to confirm that the claim made by the Evening Standard that he has received a ‘diagnosis of prostate cancer’ is untrue.

“We believe there has been a serious breach of the Duke of Edinburgh’s right to privacy and we will be taking this issue to the Press Complaints Commission. We will be asking the PCC to remind all editors of their obligations.”

The Guardian quotes a “source at the Evening Standard” as saying that they believe there to be a public interest in the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, while the Telegraph cites “a source close to the Royal Family” asserting that a distinction should be drawn between the Queen, in whose health there is a legitimate public interest, and other Royals.