A French radio station apologized for mistakenly posting draft obituaries for the Queen and other living public figures

queen elizabeth

  • French public radio broadcaster RFI apologized on Monday after mistakenly publishing obituaries for living public figures, including Queen Elizabeth II, who is 94.
  • In a tweet, RFI English wrote that a number of obituaries were published on its French website by accident due to a "technical problem."
  • RFI's French website reportedly also had published drafts of obituaries for former US President Jimmy Carter, 96; and actors Clint Eastwood, 90; Sophia Loren, 86; and Brigitte Bardot, 86.
  • Some Twitter users shared screenshots of RFI's French website prior to the false obituaries being removed.
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Radio France Internationale, a French public radio broadcaster, apologized on Monday after mistakenly publishing drafts of obituaries for living celebrities and public figures, including Queen Elizabeth II, who turned 94 in June.

In a tweet, RFI English wrote that a number of obituaries were published on its French website by accident due to a "technical problem."

"We are working to rectify this serious bug, and we apologize to all concerned as well as those who follow us and put their trust in us," the account wrote.

According to a report from international news agency Agence France-Presse, the drafts that appeared on RFI's French website also included obituaries for former US President Jimmy Carter, who is 96; Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is currently 81; retired Brazilian soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pelé, who is 80; and actors Clint Eastwood, 90; Sophia Loren, 86; and Brigitte Bardot, 86.

The obituaries were no longer available on RFI's French website at the time of writing. However, some Twitter users shared screenshots of the articles.

Jessica Phelan, a journalist for Italian news site The Local Italy, tweeted what appear to be pictures of the radio station's obituaries.

Phelan pointed out that the obituaries published by accident on RFI's website included wording that could be used if, hypothetically, a person's death were to be related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

One user shared another view of RFI's website with the mistakenly published obituaries. They wrote in French, translated to English: "@RFI has therefore decided to end 2020 at once."

Representatives for RFI and Buckingham Palace, respectively, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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