“He was at the hospital and when he was released people were feeling really good, they were thinking he was getting better,” Ms King said while speaking with the network’s London correspondent, Charles D’Agata.
“I know when you’re 99 you never know how much longer you have, but people are feeling pretty good when he left the hospital.” She then asked: “Have you heard anything about exactly what happened? Was it just natural causes? I realise it’s early in the story and it’s just breaking there.”
Mr Agata responded: “I think we all have a sense of relief when a person as old as he is goes to the hospital and then spends about a month and undergoes a heart procedure you’re not thinking it’s going to turn out great.”
He added: “We were all pleasantly surprised when he left. In terms of whether they knew he was nearing the end, we don’t know.”
When the clip was posted online, a Twitter user asked: “Why would Gayle think it might not be death by natural causes? He died ‘peacefully this morning’ at home after a long hospitalisation at 99.”
The poster added: “Why do most reporters not know what ‘natural causes’ means?”
Some were incredulous that the question was even raised: “Did Gayle King really ask that???”
Other responses were angrier: “How vile of her to question how Prince Philip died… he was 99, had been in hospital only a few weeks ago and undergone heart surgery!! What is that evil woman trying to suggest??”
Some comments also highlighted Ms King’s close friendship with Oprah Winfrey, who conducted the recent interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, also aired by CBS — suggesting some kind of agenda.
Ms King was called “callous”, “uncaring”, and “daft” by others, and implored to “show some manners”.
One Twitter user sniped: “Safe to assume your moronic question can be attributed to natural causes.”
The official statement from Buckingham Palace on the duke’s death reads: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”