Leading Australian media Friday erroneously reported the death of the queen mother, a mistake that was ultimately traced to a London television station's routine update of an obituary on the royal matriarch.
The national public broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's 2BL, leading Sydney station 2UE and the National Seven television network interrupted normal programs to flash news of her death.2BL twice flashed "unconfirmed reports," while 2UE and Channel Seven said she was dead.
Channel 7 said she passed away in her sleep.
Newsrooms across the country were inundated with calls from people seeking more news of the supposed death.
Reporting the blunder in its main news Friday evening, Australia's rival Nine National Network broadcast footage of the Queen Mother alive and well on her rounds of Armistice Day duties in London only hours after the reports.
Channel 9 said the mistake was traced to an overzealous employee who jumped to the wrong conclusion after seeing a routine obituary being prepared and updated by a London television station.