Buckingham Palace Shares Official Response to King Charles Death Rumor

Buckingham Palace responded after Russian media outlets shared false reports of King Charles III's death amid his battle with cancer.

Amid his ongoing battle with cancer, Buckingham Palace is setting the record straight on King Charles III's status. After Russian media reported that the British monarch, 75, had died, the royal palace issued a statement to News Agency TASS saying, "We are happy to confirm that The King is continuing with official and private business."

The royal household got involved in the rumors in mid-March after the Russian media outlet shared a statement credited to Buckingham Palace that included the seal of the British monarch's London home. The statement read, "The following announcement is made by royal communications. The King passed away unexpectedly yesterday afternoon." Further information was not provided.

According to The Guardian, rumors of Charles' death gained more traction after the report was shared on a Telegram channel used by Vedomosti, once Russia's most respected business newspaper. The report included a photo of the monarch in ceremonial military uniform with the caption, "British King Charles III has died." The news soon spread through Russian internet channels, including Readovka, a pro-Kremlin Telegram channel with more than 2.35 million subscribers.

Amid the reports, multiple British embassies also got involved, with the social media account for the British embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, writing on X (formerly Twitter), "We would like to inform you that the news about the death of King Charles III is fake." In a similar statement, the U.K.'s embassy in Azerbaijan wrote, "We inform that the reports about the death of King Charles III are fake!" Meanwhile, a photo shared to the royal family's social media pages on March 19 showed Charles meeting with veterans of the Korean War.

Following the palace's statement, the outlets that issued the inaccurate reports issued corrections, with the Telegram channel Mash writing, per the New York Post, "Abort, we spoke too soon, the announcement turned out to be a fake. Let us remember that a few months ago he was diagnosed with cancer and performed surgery on his prostate."

Speculation about Charles' health came amid his ongoing battle with cancer. On Jan. 17, Buckingham Palace announced that His Majesty "sought treatment for an enlarged prostate," which was described as "benign," and would undergo "a corrective procedure." In an update in early February, the Palace revealed, "During The King's recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted. Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer." The King is currently receiving outpatient treatment for his cancer and has continued with his duties as monarch.