A BBC reporter accidentally tweeted that the Queen had been taken ill to hospital, even though she hadn’t.
The Telegraph reports that BBC journalist Ahmen Khawaja tweeted this morning “BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly: @BBCWorld.”
But the Queen wasn’t ill. She was in hospital, but it was just a normal health check-up.
Buckingham Palace told The Telegraph that the Queen “attended her annual medical check-up at the King Edward VII’s Hospital in London. This was a routine, pre-scheduled appointment, the Queen has now left hospital.”
So what went wrong? Confusingly, the BBC has two different explanations for what happened.
Khawaja claimed after she deleted the tweet that her phone had been left “left unattended at home” and that the tweet was just a “silly prank.”
phone left unattended at home. Silly prank, Apologies for upsetting anyone!
— Ahmen Khawaja (@AhmenKhawaja) June 3, 2015
However, the BBC issued a statement saying that it was carrying out a “technical rehearsal” for what would happen if the Queen dies, and that caused the mistaken tweet to be sent.
Guardian broadcasting correspondent John Plunkett tweeted more details of the BBC’s explanation for what went wrong. He said that the BBC was carrying out a “category one obituary rehearsal,” where it rehearses its procedures for the death of major public figures. They usually happen at weekends, he says, but for some reason the BBC held the rehearsal today.