A rogue tweet by a BBC reporter after an “obituary rehearsal” led several major international news organisations to wrongly report that Queen Elizabeth had been admitted to hospital.
Buckingham Palace has denied any suggestion the monarch is unwell, after erroneous breaking news reports said she was staying at the King Edward VII’s hospital, a private facility in Marylebone, London.
The BBC said it was carrying out a “category one obituary rehearsal’ when the reporter mistakenly sent the tweet.
The news of her hospitalisation originally came from the Twitter account of a BBC Urdu reporter, Ahmen Khawaja.
She later deleted the original tweet and called it a false alarm. A few minutes afterwards, she tweeted that she had left her phone unattended and said the tweet had been a silly prank.
US news channel CNN was forced to recall a tweet it sent about the Queen’s hospitalisation, saying it was sent in error.
Other news outlets that reported the false story included the German newspaper Bild and the editor of India’s Hindustan Times.
The German newspaper’s tweet reported the Queen was in hospital
Buckingham Palace said the Queen attended hospital on Wednesday morning for a “routine” and “pre-scheduled” annual check-up.
It took the unusual step of confirming the private medical visit following the flurry of speculation on social media about her health.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “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.”