The Real Story Behind This Iconic Photo Of Queen Elizabeth And Prince Philip

A sweet photo of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip has been making the rounds in the days since his death on April 9, 2021. In it, Prince Philip is seen in full military regalia. Queen Elizabeth is standing nearby, seemingly laughing at her husband. According to a viral story circulating social media, the photo captured Prince Philip playing a joke on his wife by dressing up as a palace guard.

Snopes, however, debunked the claim, writing, "This is a genuine photograph of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, but the viral caption gets a little carried away."

So what's really happening in the pic? Apparently, the photo is not of Prince Philip "pranking" his wife but of him wearing ceremonial garb for an event, something he regularly did. Queen Elizabeth's laugh can be chalked up not to her husband's outfit, but to "a somewhat absurd moment" as chaos broke out due to a swarm of bees.

Prince Philip's sense of humor was known to cause controversy

While this photo may not be of a prank, Prince Philip was known for his controversial sense of humor. In fact, he found himself in hot water several times over the years for some of his jokes, such as the time he allegedly told German outlets, "In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation" (via the Independent).

Queen Elizabeth seems to have been the bigger prankster of the pair. Royal biographer Robert Hardman wrote in the book Queen of the World of the time Prince Philip grew a beard during a lengthy royal tour and his wife decided to prank him upon his return.

"Knowing that he had grown a beard on his travels, the Queen had arranged for everyone in the royal entourage — herself included — to put on fake whiskers just before the Duke walked in," wrote Hardman (via Express) of the hilarious moment.