On Wednesday, a BBC journalist caused quite a scare by tweeting that Her Majesty The Queen had been hospitalised at King Edward VII Hospital in London. The Queen wasn’t hospitalised but was in fact at the hospital for her annual check up and not being treated for a mysterious illness as the tweet suggested.
The journalist in question, Ahmen Khawaja, had her tweet re-tweeted several times by her followers before deleting it and posting, “False alarm: have deleted previous tweets!” Though it seemed the damage had already been done, with
the country and the world going in to panic mode believing that The Queen was in hospital for more serious reasons than a check up.
Though its not known that the two are connected, the BBC were on Wednesday morning carrying out a royal death rehearsal and the corporation’s head of newsgathering, Johnathan Munro, had told staff to keep the news of this rehearsal off social media. A statement from the BBC reads, “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.”
Buckingham Palace was quick to issue a statement to the nation reassuring them that Her Majesty was in good health, contrary to Ms Khawaja’s tweet, “I can confirm that The Queen this morning attended her annual medical check up at the King Edward VII’s hospital in London. This was a routine scheduled appointment, The Queen has now left hospital.” Leaving hospital she had indeed done, with Her Majesty returning to Buckingham Palace within hours of leaving in the morning.
Ahmen Khawaja produces news bulletins for BBC Urdu’s current affairs programme Sairbeen and also reports for the BBC website and its radio shows.
The BBC were conducting one of their regular rehearsals for the death of Her Majesty though it is likely that this journalist may not be a part of those rehearsals in the future.
Photo Credit: Northern Ireland Office/MTHurson/Harrions