This morning Buckingham Palace were forced to reveal Her Majesty was attending a routine doctor’s appointment -after a BBC reporter mistakenly tweeted The Queen had been hospitalised and then passed away.
Ahmen Khawaja, a BBC broadcast journalist, tweeted: “BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly’, with a following tweet announcing 89-year-old Elizabeth II had died.
Minutes later the journalist was forced to retract her statement: “False alarm to Queen’s death! She is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital.”
CNN and German Bild also sent a similar tweet, having seen the ‘news’.
Buckingham Palace then had to assure the media, unusually releasing a statement regarding The Queen’s health. In a seeming coincidence, Her Majesty had actually attended a hospital appointment earlier that morning, which was a routine annual appointment.
‘I can confirm that The Queen this morning attended her annual medical check-up at the King Edward VII’s Hospital in London. This was a routine, pre-scheduled appointment, The Queen has now left hospital.’
Ms Khawaja has since apologised for upsetting anyone and has said that the ‘silly prank’ happened when she left her phone unattended at home, but then deleted this tweet too.
A BBC spokesperson said that the tweet was in rehearsal for the time when the Sovereign does pass away: ‘During a technical rehearsal for an obituary, tweets were mistakenly sent from the account of a BBC journalist saying that a member of the Royal Family had been taken ill. The tweets were swiftly deleted and we apologise for any offence.’
At the same time the tweet was sent, a rehearsal was under way in the event of a Royal death, but insiders said Ms Khawaja was not taking part in the exercise. It is thought she may have overheard the rehearsal and tweeted what she thought was breaking news. Ms Khawaja is facing an internal enquiry for her actions.
Preparations for the accession of a new Monarch are always in place, and on the occasion this does happen, news teams are always ready to report the sad news, with senior broadcasters having black suits, ties, and outfits on standby.
It seems something is amiss with this story, with different accounts coming from the journalist and the BBC. We can be sure, however, that Her Majesty is well, having thankfully only suffered from a few minor ailments in the course of her 63 year reign; The Queen was last ill with gastroenteritis in March 2013, causing her to cancel engagements in Swansea.
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!
Feature photo: sprinsy via photopin cc