BBC Reporter Accidentally Tweets The Death Of The Very Much Alive Queen Elizabeth II

Reports of Queen Elizabeth II‘s death are greatly exaggerated.

The media game is a bloody harsh, unforgiving bastard. Even at the best of times. And it’s important to remember that behind all these words and pictures and stories and pages and whatnot are actual human beings who are fallible – and thus, from time to time, they screw up.
It’s just that most of the time those screw ups don’t involve erroneously reporting on the death of a Monarch.
BBC reporter Ahmen Khawaja sent out a pair of Tweets late last night that reportedly “confirmed” the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The pair of Tweets were quickly retracted, but the content of them was copied and spread like wildfire around the web.
BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly.”

Which was shortly followed up with:

“Queen Elizabrth has died.”

The only problem here being that Khawaja had missed a previous internal e-mail sent by BBC News management to staff informing everyone that a drill was to be carried out to test the newsroom’s readiness to respond to a so-called “category-one obituary.”

The email, sent to BBC staff by their head of newsgathering Jonathan Munroand obtained by The Guardian, includes the forewarning “It’s essential that we can rehearse these sensitive scenarios privately. I’d also ask for your help in refraining from any external conversations and all social media activity about this exercise.
All major media organisations run preparedness drills for notable obituary responses, and many have a bank of pre-prepared obituary articles that are kept in reserve and periodically updated. The BBC’s “category-one” is a remarkably exclusive club, including only the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, and Prince William.
Khawaja quickly issued a retraction Tweet, but by then the horse had bolted.
Unfortunately with the internet being the sick, sorry place that it is, Khawaja has since been subject to a barrage of atrocious backlash from individuals – a lot of which have included violent, sexual, and racist abuse and threats.
A mistake is a mistake. Everyone makes them in their workplace from time to time. The BBC itself has apologised, and will subject Khawaja to an internal review over the error.
The Queen, for her part, continues to live and rule as the complete and utter badass that she is.
Photo: WPA Pool via Getty Images.