UK
04/06/2015 11:21 BST | Updated 04/06/2015 13:59 BST

BBC Journalist Ahmen Khawaja Who Tweeted About Queen's Death Is Investigated By Corporation

The BBC has begun an investigation as part of disciplinary proceedings against a journalist who tweeted a "false alarm to the Queen's death".

Ahmen Khawaja found herself in a social media nightmare when she published a series of tweets about Her Majesty's state of health.

In one message, she said: "BREAKING: Queen Elizabeth is being treated at King Edward 7th Hospital in London. Statement due shortly: @BBCWorld."

bbc queen ahemn khawaja

Khawaja quickly deleted the tweet but confused the issue further when she claimed to have fallen victim to a "prank".

She said: "Phone left unattended at home. Silly prank, Apologies for upsetting anyone!"

This was also deleted and, in fact, it later transpired that the tweet was sent during "obituary rehearsals".

A BBC source confirmed to The Huffington Post UK that "an investigation as part of the BBC's disciplinary process" was underway.

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In a statement, the broadcaster said: "During a routine technical rehearsal for an obituary a tweet was mistakenly sent from the account of a BBC journalist saying that a member of the royal family had been taken ill.

"The tweet was swiftly deleted and we apologise for any misunderstanding or offence."

The story made the front page of several newspapers today, with the Daily Mail labelling Khawaja the "BBC girl who 'killed off' the Queen".

bbc journalist

bbc journalist

The Metro also featured it as their main story, calling her a "bungling reporter", while the Daily Express featured the headline "Uproar at BBC as reporter tweets that Queen 'is dead'".

express

According to the Evening Standard, Khawaja’s family has defended her saying tweeted that the Queen had died today defended her - saying “she just made a mistake”.

The Standard said it spoke to a man who claimed to be her brother, who told them that the family was supporting her and that he wanted to get back to normal in a job she loves.

Reaction on Twitter was mixed. Some people felt sympathy for Khawaja…

Others thought she deserved to be punished…

While some have simply given up caring…

queen

The Queen looking very much alive today