If you were on Twitter and following the BBC — the most trusted and prestigious news source in all of the United Kingdom — on Thursday you might’ve thought that the sad, morbid first line of this post were true. Because that’s exactly what the British Broadcasting Corporation tweeted out to their massive following — that Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.
Here’s precisely how the Twitter handle read:
BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly,” and later added, “Queen Elizabeth has died.
As you might’ve guessed, this sent a stiff reverberation around the globe, so much so that the BBC suits had to issue a public apology for the scare. Coincidentally, it was mere hours after the Queen had been admitted to a London hospital for her annual check-up.
Why had the false alarm been sent? According to 3 News in New Zealand, the team of reporters handling the feed had been “practicing” as if the event had taken place. Not long after, the reporter responsible tweeted on her personal account apologizing for the hiccup:
False Alarm: Have deleted previous tweets!!
— Ahmen Khawaja (@AhmenKhawaja) June 3, 2015
Even a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace issued a few words confirming that the royal was alive and well.
“I can confirm that the Queen this morning attended her annual medical check-up at the King Edward VII’s Hospital. This was a pre-scheduled appointment and the Queen has now left the hospital.”
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