A BBC correspondent sent waves of panic across social media after falsely tweeting that Queen Elizabeth II had died Thursday morning after Buckingham Palace expressed concerns over her health.
The since-deleted tweet, posted at around 3 pm local time by BBC anchor Yalda Hakim, per the Mirror, had incorrectly stated: “BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth II has died aged 96. Buckingham Palace has announced.”
This faux announcement coincided with a BBC report stating that there would be a new update about Elizabeth at 3 pm local time (10 am Eastern) — leading many royal-loving Twitter users to believe that the worst had occurred.
The UK news outlet has since confirmed that the update was a “false alarm,” while Hakim apologized in a follow-up tweet backtracking her comment.
“I tweeted that there had been an announcement about the death of the Queen,” wrote the broadcaster, who hosts BBC World News’ “Impact With Yalda Hakim.” “This was incorrect, there has been no announcement, and so I have deleted the tweet. I apologize.”
Twitter was quick to rake Hakim over the coals over the premature report. “How can you tweet there has been an announcement when there has been no announcement?” spluttered one critic. “Should be ashamed.”
“Not important to be the ‘first,’” criticized another.
The epic gun-jumping comes as Britain’s royal family rushed to be with Queen Elizabeth II Thursday after Buckingham Palace admitted that the monarch’s doctors were concerned by her condition.
“Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended that she remain under medical supervision,” the palace said in an update.