Radio France Internationale apologizes after technical problem causes it to mistakenly publish obituaries for 100 very much alive celebs.
A French public radio station issued an apology on Monday after it mistakenly reported the deaths of about 100 celebrities, including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.
Radio France Internationale (RFI) blamed the mistake on “a technical problem” and apologized for the error, which saw the death notices appear on its website and partner platforms including Google, Yahoo! and MSN before being hastily taken down, reported The Guardian.
“We offer our apologies to the people concerned and to you who follow and trust us,” the station said in a tweet. “We are doing all we can to rectify this major bug.”
In addition to the Queen, the station published obituaries for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, former US President Jimmy Carter, Cuban leader Raúl Castro and Yoko Ono, among others.
Among French nationals, the “victims” included Bernadette Chirac, wife of the late president Jacques Chirac, actors Jean-Louis Trintignant, Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, and director Roman Polanski.
Of the Queen, the station wrote, according to The Guardian, “The United Kingdom awoke an orphan this morning. Buckingham Palace officially announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen, who died of …, turned 94 on 21 April 2020.”
In the event of the Queen’s death from the coronavirus, the station recommended that the obituary be preceded by the words, “The coronavirus pandemic that has wrought havoc around the world is no respecter of crowned heads. In England … it has claimed the life of the monarch. The United Kingdom awoke an orphan this morning. Infected by the virus, Queen Elizabeth II, aged 93, did not survive associated pulmonary complications.”