Russian Reports of King Charles’ Death Are Greatly Exaggerated, Palace Says

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

King Charles III is still very much alive and kicking, according to Buckingham Palace, which on Monday was forced to respond to a report to the contrary.

The false alarm that the 75-year-old monarch had died “unexpectedly” on St. Patrick’s Day went viral after a phony palace announcement was circulated by Russian media outlets.

The British embassy in Ukraine quickly denied the proliferating rumors, tweeting that they were “fake.”

The palace jumped into the fray soon after, telling the Russian news agency Tass that it was “pleased to confirm that the King continues to [fulfill] his work duties and attend to private affairs.”

The origin of the false death report appeared to be a doctored announcement released under the palace’s official letterhead and dated March 18, though its provenance was not immediately clear.

The bogus press release was spread by two popular Russian Telegram channels, with the flames being fanned by larger outlets like business newspaper Vedomosti, news site Gazeta.Ru, and state-owned agency Sputnik.

The British monarch announced last month that he had been diagnosed with an undisclosed variety of cancer, sparking health concerns as he remains out of the spotlight.

Soon after the announcement, however, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the ailment had been “caught early,” while suggesting that Charles’ prognosis is good.

U.K. press reported over the weekend that King Charles aims to attend the country’s annual “Trooping the Colour” festivities in June, an event intended to celebrate his birthday.

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