Queen Elizabeth II is alive and well, in spite of a viral hoax this week. A story maid the rounds on social media claiming that the monarch had had a "heart attack," but it was unfounded. On Monday, a new photo proved that the queen is perfectly alright.
The news about Queen Elizabeth's supposed death started on WhatsApp, where a screenshot appeared to show a group chat between members of the Royal Guard. A person named "Gibbo" forwarded the message to other friends, who questioned its legitimacy.
"Queens passed away this morning, heart attack, being announced 930 AM tomorrow [sic]," they wrote.
The message soon went viral, spreading to Twitter where the hashtag "queen dead" started trending. However, on Monday The Sun published new pictures of the queen leaving Buckingham palace, clearly alive and well.
The photos showed Queen Elizabeth II in the backseat of a car, wearing black sunglasses and a black coat. Her driver wore an officious hat, and another man rode in the passenger seat. A spokesperson for Buckhingham Palace declined to even humor the reports with a real denial.
"We wouldn’t comment on rumours and speculation," they said.
Meanwhile, it is not clear how many Twitter users really took the story seriously at all. While it did get a lot of coverage, much of it was in a sarcastic tone, with plenty of jokes and meme references sprinkled in for good measure.
"If these rumours about the Queen passing away are true and they were broken by a man called 'Gibbo' in a group chat with a knob as the display picture, it would just about sum 2019 up to a tee," one person tweeted. "Buzzing for Season 6 of The Crown when Queen Elizabeth sentences 'Gibbo' to death for making up lies about her on WhatsApp."
"I was once in a WhatsApp group that leaked the death of the queen with my friends Burnsy, Cheeks, Gibbo, Ricey, Josh and Morty," joked another.
While her health is great as far as we know, Queen Elizabeth II is 93 years old. The monarch was born on April 21, 1926, and has survived world wars, economic upheaval and countless other public crises.
Royal admirers feel especially close to the queen, as she has been depicted on-screen in Netflix's hit drama The Crown. The series follows Queen Elizabeth's life, with different actresses playing her in different phases. Season 3 of The Crown debuted last month, and another installment is now in production.