This week, a (very false) rumor circulated online that Queen Elizabeth II had died after a message posted on WhatsApp went viral.The message was shared by a Royal Navy staffer who mistook a routine drill, which involves the procedures to be carried out in the event of the queen's passing, for the real thing.
The rumor was started by accident when a recruit at the Royal Navy Air Station Yeovilton, located about 35 miles south of Bristol, misunderstood a routine drill, the Portsmouth News reported, per Business Insider.
Personnel at the station were practicing "Operation London Bridge," which is the code name for the procedure that begins when the queen dies, on Sunday. The confused Navy staffer, not realizing it was a drill, posted about what they believed to be genuine, sad news on #WhatsApp and the message went viral.
"Queens passed away this morning, heart attack, being announced 930 Am tomorrow, channel dash 0800 tomorrow in full numbers 1s," the message, which was shared to a British Army's Guards Division group, read.
In addition to Buckingham Palace's dismissal of the rumor, the Royal Navy issued a formal statement about the kerfuffle, apologizing for the misunderstanding.
"We can confirm an internal exercise took place at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in line with established contingency plans for recall of personnel.
These exercises are conducted on a regular basis and no significance should be drawn from the timing of the exercise.
While the exercise was conducted properly, we regret any misunderstanding this may have caused."
On Tuesday, the queen stepped out (very much alive) at a reception for NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace.
Queen Elizabeth II was the victim of an accidental death hoax this week, but she's apparently not bothered by it. Buckingham Palace quickly debunked the rumor and said everything is "business as usual" for the sovereign. #Queen
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