The BBC has apologised on Thursday for accidentally sparking Twitter rumours that the Queen had died, according to an Evening Standard report.
Tweets were accidentally sent while the corporation was staging a dress rehearsal for reporting the death of the Sovereign.
One stated: “Queen Elizabrth [sic] has died.”
Buckingham Palace was forced to issue a statement reassuring the public that the Queen was in good health.
The incident happened during one of the corporation’s regular rehearsal for broadcasting the Queen’s obituary which BBC bosses had asked staff to keep off social media.
A tweet from the account of Ahmen Khawaja, a BBC broadcast journalist, was sent saying: “BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly: @BBCWorld.”
Ms Khawaja is a reporter working for the BBC’s Urdu-language service.
It was followed by the tweet wrongly stating that the Monarch was dead. Minutes later, she tweeted: “False alarm to Queen’s death! She is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital.”
False Alarm: Have deleted previous tweets!!
— Ahmen Khawaja (@AhmenKhawaja) June 3, 2015
By coincidence, the Queen did attend a routine annual appointment at the hospital this morning. A Palace spokesman said: “I can confirm that the Queen this morning attended her annual medical check-up at the King Edward VII’s Hospital in London.
“This was a routine, pre-scheduled appointment, the Queen has now left hospital.”
Ms Khawaja next sent a tweet suggesting her phone had been hacked. It said: “phone left unattended at home. Silly prank, Apologies for upsetting anyone!”
The BBC appeared to get into a tangle as it contradicted her explanations and strongly denied that any tweets had been sent saying the Queen had died.
In a statement a spokesperson said: “During a technical rehearsal for an obituary, tweets were mistakenly sent from the account of a BBC journalist saying that a member of the royal family had been taken ill.
“The tweets were swiftly deleted and we apologise for any offence.”
A spokeswoman insisted there was no evidence that a tweet had been sent which said the Queen had died. “I do not think any tweet was sent from this account that said the Queen had died,” she said.
However, a screen grab appearing to show the tweet was published by the NBC News website.
The corporation refused to give any details of how the error happened or whether Ms Khawaja was in the same building as the dress rehearsal. Some BBC staff speculated that Ms Khawaja could have overheard part of the rehearsal and jumped to the conclusion that it was a real report.
Some people believed the Queen really had died. One twitter user responded: “May God be with her.”