HAMPSHIRE County Council has apologised after wrongly announcing that Prince Philip had died.

A notice about the Duke's "death" was published on the county council's website earlier today after what the authority described as an "internal error".

It appeared on the front page for "a few minutes" and was quickly removed.

The message said: "On behalf of our residents, the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire and Hampshire County Council offer deepest sympathies to the Royal family on the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"At Hampshire County Council's headquarters buildings in Winchester flags have been lowered to half mast."

The authority apologised for the blunder and said it was "investigating this highly unusual occurrence".

It comes as the Crown Prosecution Service announced that it would not be prosecuting the prince over a recent crash near the Sandringham estate.

The Duke, who is four months short of his 98th birthday, retired from public life in 2017.

A spokesman for the royal family declined to comment, saying it was "a matter for the county council".

In August 2017 an unfinished article announcing Prince Philip had died was wrongly published online by The Daily Telegraph.

It followed a similar error three months earlier by The Sun.

An "emergency meeting" at Buckingham Palace turned out to have been about the Duke's impending retirement from public life.