BBC Trust 'profoundly regrets' any distress caused by reporter's 'Queen has died' Twitter message

The BBC has revealed new details about how a journalist tweeted news of the Queen’s death after seeing the news appear on an internal TV monitor as part of a technical rehearsal.

First they stated that the Queen was being treated in hospital and then that she had died.

The tweets, sent on 3 June from broadcast journalist Ahmen Khawaja's personal Twitter account, said:

  • BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly: @BBCWorld
  • Queen Elizabrth [sic] has died: @BBCWorld
  • False Alarm to Queen’s death! She is being treated at King Edward 7th hospital. Statement due shortly
  • False Alarm: have deleted previous tweets!!

The BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee said:

"Trustees noted that the BBC took very seriously how it conveyed delicate and important information about the Queen and members of the Royal Family. They considered that the tweets had included information of a highly sensitive nature and that they had the potential to cause a great deal of distress in the UK and beyond. They considered it had been a grave error of judgment to publish the tweets and they profoundly regretted any distress that had been caused."

Full details of the finding available here (page 11)

 

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