UK forced to deny reports of King Charles's death following Russian disinformation

Embassies in Ukraine and Russia both issued statements refuting the reports

King Charles III and Queen Camilla on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following his coronation on May 6, 2023. Getty Images
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British embassies were forced to deny claims that King Charles III had died after several prominent Russian outlets ran stories announcing his death.

The UK embassies in Ukraine and Russia both issued statements refuting the reports, which circulated on Monday, claiming the monarch died due to complications from cancer.

Russian newswire Sputnik reported that “King Charles III of Great Britain has died at the age of 75, according to media reports”.

“There is no information about this on the royal family website or in the British media," it added.

A fake Buckingham Palace statement announcing the “unexpected death” also circulated on social media.

“News about King Charles III death is fake,” the UK embassy in Ukraine said in a post on X. The message was written in English and Ukrainian.

The British embassy in Moscow also refuted the claim in a post on X that read: “Reports of the death of King Charles III of Great Britain are fake!”

The monarch, 75, temporarily postponed public appearances as he undergoes treatment for an unspecified form of cancer. He recently spoke about how he was “moved to tears” by public support he received following his diagnosis.

King Charles made the comments during an audience with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

Mr Sunak told the monarch that it was “wonderful to see you looking so well”, prompting King Charles to joke it was “all done with mirrors”.

“We’re all behind you. The country is behind you,” Mr Sunak said.

The king replied: “I’ve had so many wonderful messages and cards. It’s reduced me to tears most of time.”

They discussed how a spotlight had been shone on cancer charities, with the king describing the organisations as “wonderful”.

He started outpatient treatment for cancer in February. Mr Sunak previously revealed the king’s illness had been “caught early”.

Heir to the throne Prince William, whose wife the Princess of Wales is also taking a break from public duties while she recovers from abdominal surgery, has stepped up in his absence.

The couple were seen out in public at the weekend for the first time since her operation in January. A smiling Princess of Wales was filmed alongside her husband during a visit to a farm shop in Windsor.

Updated: March 19, 2024, 12:05 PM