The death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II, has been a hot topic on Chinese social media site Weibo. President Xi Jinping also sent a personal message of condolence to the Queen, who he met with the Duke of Edinburgh in an official visit in 2015.
Prince Philip’s death has been widely reported on official Chinese media and social media. ‘#Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip’s death’ (#白金汉宫宣布菲利普亲王去世#) gained 640 million views and ‘#Queen approves April 9 to April 17 as national mourning’ (#英女王批准9日至17日为国丧期#) hit 36.4 million views.
“Queen Elizabeth II must be very sad, but love is forever.”
“He lived for a century. Although he didn’t quite make it to 100 years old, his life was remarkable.”Comments from netizens
The British Royal Family have made several visits to China. Prince Philip and the Queen made a state visit to China in 1986 and travelled to Beijing, Shanghai, Xi’an, Kunming and Guangzhou. More recently, Prince William visited China in 2015 and met with President Xi Jinping.
Major royal events, such as weddings, births and the recent move of Harry and Meghan to the US, generally attract a fair amount of attention in China. Other trending hashtags on Weibo related to the royal family include:
- ‘#Queen Elizabeth II holds virtual birthday party’ (#英国女王举行视频生日派对#): 22.87 million views
- ‘#Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II’s 74 years love story’ (#菲利普亲王与英国女王74年婚姻路#): 36.76 million views
In January, a pair of socks launched by the Royal Collection came to the attention of Weibo users. Chinese netizens ridiculed their cost, £69 (approximately 607 RMB), and commented that it was unreasonable to expect anyone to pay so much for a pair of socks.