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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke April 13, 2021

Queen Elizabeth was laughing at bees, not her husband in uniform

If Your Time is short

  • Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were laughing at a swarm of bees that disrupted an event at Windsor Castle in 2003. The Duke was in uniform to escort the Queen to the gathering. 

After the recent death of Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, obituaries, stories and photos of him are being shared online. 

One image shows Philip standing in a military uniform while the queen walks by with a broad smile on her face. But several social media posts have wrongly described what’s happening in the photo, saying that Philip surprised her by dressing as a palace guard, causing her to burst into laughter. 

These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

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BBC News spoke with the photographer who snapped the picture. Chris Young, who worked for the Press Association at the time, was covering an event at Windsor Castle in 2003. Philip, who was a colonel of the Queen’s Regiment, was standing in full military uniform to accompany her when a swarm of bees disrupted the gathering. 

"She was giggling like a little girl, and he was laughing, too," said Young, who captured a rare candid moment between the couple. 

We rate this post False.


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Queen Elizabeth was laughing at bees, not her husband in uniform

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