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08th Sep 2022

BBC reporter apologises after accidentally announcing Queen’s death

Steve Hopkins

Yalda Hakim admitted her tweet was inaccurate and ‘there was no announcement’

A BBC reporter has apologised after mistakenly announcing the death of the Queen after doctors said Thursday that they were “concerned” for her health.

The tweet, from Yalda Hakim, was sent at 3.07pm, but was quickly deleted.

Hakim, an anchor and correspondent at the corporation, admitted the error a short time later and apologised.

Twitter users, including journalists, were also caught out by a fake BBC account that also suggested that Her Majesty had passed away, aged 96.

https://twitter.com/ishaantharoor/status/1567879666693701632

The incident has echos of an earlier blunder the broadcaster made in 2015.

Ahmen Khawaja, a reporter for BBC Urdu, sent out a tweet saying: “Queen Elizabeth [sic] has died.”

And another saying: “BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London.Statement due shortly: @BBCWorld.”

The incident happened during a rehearsal which BBC bosses had asked staff to keep off social media.

A BBC spokesperson said at the time: “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.”

The Queen is currently under medical supervision, Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday. as her family rushed to be by her side.

“Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. “The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.”

Minutes before the statement, the new Prime Minister Liz Truss was handed a note in the Commons informing her of the development as she was revealing her plans to cap energy bills for the next two years.

Truss said: “The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime” adding “my thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time”.

On Wednesday, the Queen was forced to postpone a Privy Council meeting at the last minute on doctors’ advice.

Following a busy day on Tuesday, during which she greeted both Boris Johnson and Truss at Balmoral, as well as undertaking other light duties, the 96-year-old was told to rest.

The palace said that after “a full day” on Tuesday the monarch  had accepted the medics’ advice.

The Queen had been due to hold the Privy Council virtually on Wednesday evening, during which Truss would have taken her oath as First Lord of the Treasury and her new cabinet ministers would have been sworn into their roles.

In a statement a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “After a full day yesterday, Her Majesty has this afternoon accepted doctors’ advice to rest.

“This means that the Privy Council meeting that had been due to take place this evening will be rearranged.”

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