Buckingham Palace forced to confirm the Queen is not dead after Twitter hoax
Rumors that Queen Elizabeth II died over Christmas spread across Twitter on Thursday evening after a hoax BBC account published a fake death alert.
Conspiracy theorists accused the media of a cover-up, which they alleged would last until 8:00am Friday morning, using the hashtag #mediablackout to spread their claims.
The fake Twitter account, @BBCNewsUKI, which has since been suspended, tweeted: “BREAKING: Buckingham Palace announces the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 90. Circumstances are unknown. More to follow.”
Looks like a fake BBC account reporting that the queen is dead pic.twitter.com/kVKYucUv88— Anthony Cheung (@AWMCheung) December 29, 2016
In the year of fake news and celebrity deaths, the suggestion that the Queen had died spread across social media like wildfire.
Buckingham Palace said on Friday she had not passed away but “continues to recover from a heavy cold,” according to the Independent.Her Majesty was absent from the Christmas church service at Sandringham on Christmas Day for the first time in nearly 30 years due to her illness.
The Monarch and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, fell ill before Christmas.She has not appeared in public since becoming unwell.
However, the annual Queen’s speech was still broadcast on Christmas Day, in which she said that we could not solve global problems “on our own.”
“Even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help.
“On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.”
Thank you to all our Twitter followers for your support in 2016! See you in 2017 #HappyNewYearhttps://t.co/tmZ8pqL4qn— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) December 30, 2016
It’s not the first time the Queen’s “death” has been reported.
BBC reporter Ahmen Khawaja last year tweeted: “Queen Elizabrth (sic) has died: @BBCWorld.”
She later admitted she hadn’t realized that a royal obituary rehearsal she was watching in the BBC studio was not in fact the real thing.