Buckingham Palace Forced To Clarify After Russia Claims 'King Is Dead'

By Jennifer Wentworth | Tuesday, 19 March 2024 09:20 PM
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In an unexpected turn of events, the British embassy in Moscow was compelled to issue a formal statement affirming the health of King Charles III, following a flurry of false reports in Russian media claiming the monarch's demise.

Several Russian news platforms and their corresponding social media accounts had earlier disseminated the erroneous news of the King's death at 75, allegedly due to cancer complications. These reports were based on unidentified media sources and were accompanied by a fabricated statement from Buckingham Palace announcing Charles' "unexpected death."

Russian news agency Sputnik was among the first to broadcast the false news, stating, "King Charles III of Great Britain has died at the age of 75, according to media reports. There is no information about this on the royal family website or in the British media."

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However, the narrative quickly changed as the news platforms were forced to retract their stories following reports confirming the King's well-being. The British embassy in Moscow promptly responded to the false reports, posting on X, "Reports of the death of King Charles III of Great Britain are fake!" The British Embassy in Kyiv echoed this sentiment with a similar statement.

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The origin of the false news remains unclear, with speculation rife about whether it was a simple error or a calculated move by Vladimir Putin's propaganda machinery. This incident follows recent criticism of Putin's election victory in a "rigged" presidential election by Britain and other Western nations.

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The British embassy's Telegram channel also posted a notice in Russian, reiterating that the reports were false. Early broadcasters of the fake news included RIA, Sputnik, Readkovka, and Mash, all of which are known for their pro-Putin stance. However, these outlets later corrected their stories.

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Mash media outlet initially reported, "Britain's King Charles III has died, Buckingham Palace reports. The son of Elizabeth II ascended the throne less than a year ago - the coronation took place on May 6, 2023. He was 75 years old." The outlet later updated its report, acknowledging the false news and stating, "The King of Great Britain is alive and continues to go about his business. At least that's what Buckingham Palace says."

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Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, also weighed in on the controversy, posting, 'London looks pathetic.' Pro-Kremlin BAZA online media reported, "The Russian media reported the death of British King Charles III with reference to a document allegedly published by Buckingham Palace. The screenshot of the message about the death of Charles III turned out to be fake."

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The fabricated palace announcement, dated today, falsely claimed, "The King passed away unexpectedly yesterday afternoon." Independent outlet Meduza reported, "A number of media and Telegram channels reported the death of the British King Charles III - with reference to a fake statement from Buckingham Palace."

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Russian state news outlet RIA Novosti corrected its earlier report, admitting it was based on "rumors." It stated, "The press service of Buckingham Palace denied RIA Novosti rumors about the death of King Charles III. He continues to conduct official and private affairs."

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State news agency TASS and the Kremlin's own newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published by Putin's government, also confirmed that the story was fake. Rossiyskaya Gazeta wrote, "King Charles III continues to carry out work and private affairs, Buckingham Palace said. Previously, many Telegram channels published unverified and false information about the death of the monarch."

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