FAKE-NEWS: “Queen Elizabeth Set to Retire in Feb, 2017 and Pass Crown to Prince William”

A “breaking news” report circulating via social media claims that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is set to retire in early 2017 and the crown will be passed to her grandson Prince William.

Brief Analysis:
The claims in the report are untrue. Queen Elizabeth has not announced that she is retiring and there are no legitimate news articles that support the claims in the report. In fact, the report is a work of fiction that comes from the self-confessed satirical fake-news website 1ndependent.co.uk.

BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth II Passes On Crown As She Retires

It has been confirmed Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is set to retire on February 06, 2017 exactly her 65th anniversary since she ascended the throne and has chosen to pass the crown over to Prince William.
She is the longest reigning monarch in the UK giving up the throne in favor of her grandson, Prince William, bypassing her eldest son and heir apparent, Prince Charles.

Queen Elizabeth Retires Fake News

Detailed Analysis:
According to a story that is currently circulating rapidly via social media, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is set to retire from the throne come February 6, 2017. The report claims that she will be passing the crown to her grandson Prince William, thereby bypassing her son Prince Charles, who is, in fact, the rightful heir to the throne. Supposedly, the Queen was able to convince Prince Charles to accept her decision so that Prince William can become king.

However, despite the way it is presented, the story is not real news. There have been no genuine announcements about the Queen retiring. And, there are no credible news reports that support the claims in the story in any way. In fact, the story is a satirical piece from the fake-news website 1ndependent.co.uk. The site publishes nonsensical stories disguised as news. And, just to confuse readers a little more, it throws in some genuine news reports lifted verbatim from real news outlets such as the BBC.

The site’s fictional  reports do not include any clear disclaimer that might alert readers that the material they are reading is not real news. It does reveal the true nature of its content in its “Terms of Use” document, but this is a page that few readers are likely to access. The page notes in part:

This website is satirical in scope and intent. It provides fake news and social criticism in a satirical setting. If this offends you, you might want to consider doing something else with your time rather than looking at the Internet. Really, the quality of your life will improve dramatically. Our intention is not to fool anyone, but if you do get fooled, don’t sweat it. Please have fun and lighten up.

Apparently in an effort to make itself appear more credible, the site uses a web address very similar to that of the legitimate UK news site independent.co.uk. Note the “1” instead of the “i” at the beginning of the URL. Many users may not notice this small difference and wrongly assume that they are on the real Independent.co.uk news site.

It is always wise to verify any strange or unusual “news” reports that come your way via social media before you share them with others. Searching a news portal such as Google News will usually reveal if a circulating story is true.

Last updated: October 13, 2016
First published: October 13, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

Identifying Fake-News Articles and Websites
BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth II Passes On Crown As She Retires
1dependent – Terms of Use