Over the Christmas holidays, fake news stories broke of Queen Elizabeth dying after suffering from a ‘heavy cold’.
Screenshots of the alleged report on royal.uk show the headline ‘Death of Queen Elizabeth II’. Further shots show a statement from Her Majesty’s Press Secretary reading: “Prince Charles with the greatest sadness has asked for the following announcement to….”, the message is cut off after that.
Izvestia, a pro-Kremlin newspaper wrote: “Some netizens have suggested that the absence of a denial confirms the tragedy in the Royal family, which they have decided not to announce yet, given the necessity to carry all relevant procedures – including the secret ones.”
As the article continues, The Queen’s health problems were discussed, the delay of her journey to Sandringham and claiming she “skipped” church. It did not mention that The Queen was well enough to attend church this past Sunday.
Life.ru, a pro-Kremlin news site claimed to have contacted Buckingham Palace, who said: “It is totally untrue. It could not have been on this website. Could you please send us a screenshot or any link to this information?”
The reported continued, saying: “Internet users became anxious because of the report at the official website of the royal family that Elizabeth II died at the age of 90,” stated the report.
“Buckingham Palace has denied the report about the death of the Queen Elizabeth II that was earlier posted on the official (royal) website and was later removed.
“Let us recall that rumours about the death of the British queen came out when she disappeared from the news, especially when Elizabeth II did not attend traditional Christmas service.
“The Royal family said that it happened because the Queen was unwell.”
The Russian Defence Ministry’s TV channel Zvezda also got on the bandwagon and shared the fake screenshot.
Furthermore, the largest tabloid in Russia, Komsomolskaya Pravda published their story: “The website of the royal family has urgently removed information about the death of Elizabeth II.”
The article read: “The official website of the British royal family has posted news about the death of Queen Elizabeth II but later urgently removed it.
“Despite the fact that the post was quickly removed, screenshots were made and were quickly reposted on the web.
“The management of the portal is not commenting on the posted information.
“Users of social networks suppose that the death of the queen maybe needed to be kept secret for a little while for some necessary procedures.”
There are now claims that the origin of the fake screenshots started on small Russian websites.
The US election has also been affected by Russian hacking.