Social media royalists were fearing the worst in the early hours of Wednesday morning when a tweet from the BBC stated that Queen Elizabeth had been hospitalized after falling seriously ill. But before the rogue tweet could turn into a full-blown royal death hoax, the world-respected broadcaster apologized profusely for its regal blunder.
In many cases the damage had already been done. The Guardian reports that the tweet led sever major international news outlets to wrongly report that Queen Elizabeth had been hospitalised. CCN was one such offender who had to issue a tweet to apologise for a tweet.
“Affiliates, please disregard our previous tweet about Queen Elizabeth. It was sent in error.”
Media organizations stopped short of developing the tweet into a full blown royal death hoax, but only because the BBC apologized for its brassy breach of royal protocol in the nick of time.
The BBC, which prides itself on its accurate and factual reporting admitted that an enthusiastic reporter had tweeted Queen Elizabeth was seriously ill as part of a “category one obituary rehearsal.”
The truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction, but even more bizarrely, the tweet coincided with an actual visit by the Queen to a hospital for her annual medical check-up. Causing Buckingham Palace to issue a series of denials that Queen Elizabeth was in any way unwell.
BBC Urdu reporter Ahmen Khawaja was the journalist responsible for the royal blunder, but her initial reaction to being caught out was to delete the original tweet proclaiming Queen Elizabeth’s condition and call it a false alarm.
She then tweeted that the tweet had been a silly prank.
“Phone left unattended at home. Silly prank, Apologies for upsetting anyone!”
All of which contradicts the BBC’s official explanation of events regarding the tweet about Queen Elizabeth, in that it was a category one obituary rehearsal gone wrong.
“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.”
And the lesson in all of this? It takes a tweet to catch a tweet!
(Photo Via Getty Images)