Fact Check: Queen Elizabeth II Did NOT Test Positive For Coronavirus

Fact Check

  • by: Jessica Ravitz
Fact Check: Queen Elizabeth II Did NOT Test Positive For Coronavirus Fact Check: Queen Elizabeth II Did NOT Test Positive For Coronavirus Fake!

Did the UK's Queen Elizabeth II test positive for COVID-19 after meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson? No, that's not true: After news broke on March 27, 2020, that Johnson tested positive for coronavirus, Buckingham Palace issued a statement to media outlets saying the royal monarch last met with the UK prime minister on March 11, and that she "remains in good health."

The claim appears to have originated in a UCR World News story (archived here), which ran a story with this headline: "Royal Palace confirms Queen Elizabeth tests positive for cornavirus." It opened this way:

UNITED KINGDOM- Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a shocking release a few minutes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed he tested positive for coronavirus.

News of the Queen testing positive for COVID-19 does not come as a surprise since there was a possibility that she could have been exposed by the virus during one of her weekly meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson who tested positive an hour ago.

Here is an example of what appeared on social media:


One example of how another blog picked it up and shared the fake news elsewhere is this Facebook post (archived here) on March 27, 2020. The blog post was shared with the headline, "Queen Elizabeth II tests positive for coronavirus." The post opened this way:

In England, after the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Queen Elizabeth's coronavirus test was also positive.

According to the news in UCR News; On 11 March, Queen Elizabeth had a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Jonhson, whose coronavirus test was positive.

Here is how the Facebook post sharing that blog appeared on social media:


The fake story also appeared on Twitter, being shared, for example, by Ailton Medeiros. His tweet, linking to the UCR story, opened this way (translated from Portuguese):

The coronavirus does not respect even blue blood.

And this is how that tweet appeared:

The UCR piece also included this:

Her health, the palace added, remains good and stable though she has shown mild symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

It, then, added a supposed statement from Buckingham Palace:

In a brief statement, the palace said: "HMQ has also tested positive and is currently self-isolating at Windsor Castle. The Queen came into contact with the PM on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare".

When this story was shared on reddit, it was quickly knocked down and removed.

Commenters had plenty to say in response. "Sorry to sound like a douche, but I can't confirm this at any other source," wrote one person. "Yea, seems like they'd include a link to the supposed shocking release from Buckingham Palace they mention," another replied. "Until BBC.com or royal.uk posts it, not a thing," said a third.

A couple others shared a link to a list of fake news sites, which included ucrtv.com.

Several trusted media outlets -- including CNN, USA Today, and Town & Country -- reported on the queen's health, sharing statements from the palace on March 27, 2020, after news about the prime minister broke. Those statements read nothing like the one UCR shared.

Reuters reported that the queen was "in good health." The news outlet's story opened this way:

Britain's Queen Elizabeth last saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has tested positive for coronavirus, on March 11 and she remains in good health, Buckingham Palace said on Friday.

"The queen last saw the PM on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare," a palace spokesman said.

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Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Jessica Ravitz

Jessica Ravitz, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is a former senior writer at CNN Digital. For more than a decade, she wrote longform narratives and profiles on topics ranging from gun violence, sexual assault and suicide to women’s health, spirituality and race.


Read more about or contact Jessica Ravitz

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