Instagram gossip blog with 2.8 million followers that said Queen Elizabeth had died is doubling down, claiming a retraction was ‘fake news’
. The CEO of a celebrity gossip blog went viral for claiming that Queen Elizabeth II has died.
. The Queen was diagnosed with COVID-19, Buckingham Palace announced on Sunday.
. Jason Lee doubled down after a Twitter account that appeared to be for his blog had briefly retracted the claim.
The founder and CEO of the celebrity gossip blog Hollywood Unlocked has doubled down on his unverified and unsubstantiated claim that Queen Elizabeth II has died despite no other outlet reporting such news.
The internet ignited Tuesday after the pop culture blog with 2.8 million Instagram followers published an article that claimed “sources close to the Royal Kingdom” had exclusively told the blog that the Queen had died.
The blog provided no other information on the claim, which has not been addressed by Buckingham Palace. Representatives for Buckingham Palace did not return Insider’s request for comment on Wednesday.
As Insider reported, it is extremely unlikely the world would learn of the Queen’s death from a gossip site. There are rigid plans in place by the palace that detail everything from who will first be informed to what songs UK radio stations can play before announcing the news.
But Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee is standing by it. He tweeted: ‘We don’t post lies and I always stand by my sources. Waiting for an official statement from the palace.’
Some people may have taken it at face value, but others were quick to rip the article to shreds over its questionable wording.
Firstly, it cites sources close to the ‘Royal Kingdom’ – which we’d expect someone with such great connections in Buckingham Palace to know isn’t a thing.
Waiting on confirmation from the “royal kingdom”? pic.twitter.com/lUG4ADtwtY
— K Rich (@rich_kimmie) February 22, 2022
hollywood unlocked saying the queen died pic.twitter.com/CPQ9E6Gh3m
— Charlotte (@colombochar) February 22, 2022
You lot believing an IG gossip page that said 'sources close to the royal kingdom'
LMAOOOO you're worse than whatsapp aunties
— Bri (@Xhakaed) February 22, 2022
No, but is this what Jason Lee think London looks like? Man said “Royal kingdom”. I don’t think I’ll recover from that😭 pic.twitter.com/pHoTeaI1d0
— ℙ𝕖𝕥𝕥𝕪 𝕃𝕒𝔹𝕖𝕝𝕝𝕖 𝔼𝕤𝕢🦚 (@petttylabelle) February 23, 2022
It then says the Queen was ‘scheduled to attend the wedding of British Vogue editor Edward Enninful, but was found dead’.
With no disrespect to Mr Enniful, anyone living in Britain could tell you the Queen was not due to attend his wedding.
And the idea that the Queen would be mysteriously ‘found dead’, only for a palace guard to get onto the phone to Hollywood Unlocked, sounds just a tad unlikely.
Since last night’s story did the rounds, it’s been ridiculed on social media, with the memes coming in thick and fast.
It’s not impossible that the 95-year-old monarch’s death would be leaked to the press before the palace made an official announcement.
But there is quite a strict protocol for when that day does come – codenamed Operation London Bridge.
jason lee when he gets a phone call with a british area code pic.twitter.com/uDKoaVoFLh
— ° (@natereIIa) February 22, 2022
hollywood unlocked reporter accidentally pressing publish on their queen elizabeth is dead draft pic.twitter.com/ZGImHLDti1
— ¹⁰ (@aaIiyaan) February 22, 2022
Man said “sources close to the Royal Kingdom” like this is Shrek . Jason Lee is a menace 😭😭
— Politics For Gorgeous Gorgeous Girls (@blixberrie) February 22, 2022
— MRFA (@kitantai) February 22, 2022
In the hours following her death, a ‘call cascade’ will take place informing the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Secretary and the most senior civil servants and officials.
Cabinet members will be told ‘discretion is required’. The Royal household will then release an ‘official notification’ informing the public of the news.
For years, the BBC was the first outlet to be told of royal deaths, but now the newsflash would go to the Press Association news agency and be shared with the rest of the world’s media in one go.
When Metro.co.uk approached the Palace they said they would not entertain commenting on such a story.