BBC officials have issued a public apology after a royal obituary rehearsal went public and sparked false reports suggesting Queen Elizabeth II had passed away.
BBC reporter Ahmen Khawaja was taking part in a training exercise to teach staff about how to handle a royal death when a series of misleading tweets were accidentally sent out from her official Twitter account.
The messages began: "BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly," and later added, "Queen Elizabeth has died."
The tweets were picked up by news outlets across the world and sparked rumours of a real royal death, which were compounded as the 89-year-old monarch was coincidentally admitted to the London hospital on Wednesday morning for her annual medical check-up.
Khawaja later deleted the tweets and told followers the news was not true, and now BBC bosses have issued a public apology for the scare.
A statement from the organisation reads, "During a technical rehearsal for an obituary, tweets were mistakenly sent from the account of a BBC journalist... The tweets were swiftly deleted and we apologise for any offence."
False Alarm: Have deleted previous tweets!!— Ahmen Khawaja (@AhmenKhawaja) June 3, 2015
A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace has also confirmed the Queen is alive and well, adding, "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."
source: newshub archive