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Australia The REAL story behind rumours Queen was dead: Royal Navy makes red-faced apology and admits 'Gibbo' WhatsApp text that sparked worldwide scare was from military exercise

16:30  06 december  2019
16:30  06 december  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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dead : Royal Navy makes red - faced apology and admits ' Gibbo ' WhatsApp text that sparked worldwide scare was from military exercise . A user called ' Gibbo ' wrote on the WhatsApp group that the Queen had died. Within 24 hours, it was shared by thousands of people on social media.

False rumours that spread across the internet about the Queen having died were started after a military exercise , the royal navy has said. Officials said they “regret any misunderstanding” after the hoax became widespread and said that “no significance” should have been drawn from the exercise .

Video provided by Sky news Australia

Royal Navy military personnel have taken the blame for leaking WhatsApp message that sparked a rumour that the Queen had died. 

Officials have apologised for 'any misunderstanding' after claims that HRH had passed away went viral.  

On Sunday 1 December, a screenshot from a WhatsApp group chat was posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Inside the image was a conversation believed to be between individuals serving in the Royal Navy stating what equipment personnel would need for an exercise to do with the royal's passing. 

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RED - FACED Royal Navy chiefs have admitted accidentally starting a WhatsApp rumour that the Queen was dead . Sick pranksters were initially thought to be behind a viral message that claimed Her Majesty had passed away on Sunday. But it's now emerged that the message originated from a

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a screenshot of a cell phone: Inside the image was a conversation believed to be between military personnel with other users including 'Burnsy', 'Cheeks', 'Josh' and 'Morty' © Provided by Daily Mail Inside the image was a conversation believed to be between military personnel with other users including 'Burnsy', 'Cheeks', 'Josh' and 'Morty'

A user called 'Gibbo', wrote on the group chat: 'Queen's passed away this morning, heart attack, being announced 930 AM tomorrow (sic).' 

The message also says: 'Channel dash 0800 tomorrow in full number 1s, in your black kit bag you need: 1 set of 3s 1 set of 4s Underwear and socks for 2 weeks (sic).'

Royal Navy military personnel have apologised for 'any misunderstanding' after claims that the Queen had passed away went viral. Royal Navy military personnel have apologised for 'any misunderstanding' after claims that the Queen had passed away went viral. The screengrabs claim to give instructions sent to guards.

But the comrades are uncertain of Gibbo and one called Ricey says he has text another 'guy in the guards' to confirm.  

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Within 24 hours, it has been shared by thousands of people worldwide, with hashtags #GodSaveTheQueen, #QueenDead and #BuckinghamPalace trending on Twitter © Provided by Daily Mail Within 24 hours, it has been shared by thousands of people worldwide, with hashtags #GodSaveTheQueen, #QueenDead and #BuckinghamPalace trending on Twitter

Other users in the group chat include 'Burnsy', 'Cheeks', 'Josh' and 'Morty' who are understood to have been between serving military personnel.

Within 24 hours, it has been shared by thousands of people worldwide, with hashtags #GodSaveTheQueen, #QueenDead and #BuckinghamPalace trending on Twitter.  

Royal Navy officials have confirmed that the message was part of a practise military exercise. 

It is believed that someone received the exercise recall message and thinking it to be real, then forwarded it on further.  

Servicemen based at the Royal Navy Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton had been practising for an Operation London Bridge recall - the codename used for when the Queen dies.  

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A Royal Navy spokesman said: 'We can confirm an internal exercise took place at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton in line with established contingency plans for recall of personnel.

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'These exercises are conducted on a regular basis and no significance should be drawn from the timing of the exercise.

'While the exercise was conducted properly, we regret any misunderstanding this may have caused.'

Buckingham Palace was forced to respond after the maelstrom of social media speculation, with a royal spokeswoman downplaying the rumours and saying it was 'business as usual'.   

Former paratrooper Alfie Usher shared the initial WhatsApp message to his Facebook followers on his Fill Your Boots UK military humour page.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Buckingham Palace was forced to respond after the maelstrom of social media speculation, with a royal spokeswoman downplaying the rumours and saying it was 'business as usual' © Provided by Daily Mail Buckingham Palace was forced to respond after the maelstrom of social media speculation, with a royal spokeswoman downplaying the rumours and saying it was 'business as usual'

Mr Usher, who runs military insurance firm Forces Compare, said he didn't believe the message was real and insisted he shared it as a joke on his page, which is followed by 97,413 people. 

Shortly after posting it, he was bombarded with questions by people fearing it was a genuine message and was forced to delete the original post and write an explanation about it.  

'It went bigger than Ben Hur. I realised I was losing control of the situation when other news sources were picking it up.' 

He added: 'I feel so sorry for Gibbo. Someone screenshotted his message which was out of his control but he will be the one that gets shafted.'

Former Special Air Service (SAS) personnel, James Deegan, who has 20,000 followers, posted on Twitter: 'I find it sad that someone would start a vile rumour about The Queen. 

a screenshot of a cell phone: Social media influencer and ex paratrooper Alfie Usher felt sorry for Gibbo saying that 'he will be the one that gets shafted' © Provided by Daily Mail Social media influencer and ex paratrooper Alfie Usher felt sorry for Gibbo saying that 'he will be the one that gets shafted'

'I find it even more disgusting that people would rejoice in it.

'Proud to have met her several times, I am a Royalist and unashamedly so. Long may she reign over us.'

RNAS Yeovilton is one of the navy's two principal air bases, and one of the busiest military airfields in the UK.

It is home to more than 100 aircraft operated on both front-line squadrons and training units, including the Fleet Air Arm Wildcat Force and the Commando Helicopter Force.

About 4,300 personnel, both civilian and military work at the air base.



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