Fact Check

Queen Elizabeth II Passes on Crown as She Retires?

A fake news story reported that Elizabeth II would be retiring and passing the crown to her grandson, Prince William.

Published Oct. 10, 2016

Image courtesy of Wikimedia
Elizabeth II is abdicating her throne and giving the crown to Prince William

In October 2016, the web sites 1ndependent and Da1lyMail published articles reporting that Elizabeth II was "retiring" and passing the crown to her grandson, Prince William (rather than her son, Prince Charles):

It has been confirmed Britain's Queen Elizabeth is set to retire on February 06, 2017 exactly her 65th anniversary since she ascended the throne and has chosen to pass the crown over to Prince William. She is the longest reigning monarch in the UK giving up the throne in favor of her grandson, Prince William, bypassing her eldest son and apparent, Prince Charles.

This (poorly written) story was a complete fabrication: Queen Elizabeth had neither announced that she was "retiring," or that she was choosing to skip over Prince Charles in the royal line of succession in favor of Prince William. The 1ndependent and Da1lyMail (not to be confused with the real British Independent and Daily Mail newspapers) are fake news sites that spoof the names and domains of legitimate news sources and do not publish factual stories.

A similar story was floated by various web sites in August 2017, all sourced to an anonymous "palace insider" supposedly quoted in Life & Style magazine:

"Her Majesty realized that William and Kate are the future. She has spent 65 years making sure that the House of Windsor survives, and she sees William and Kate as having the energy and star quality to do the job in a modern world. Queen Elizabeth will always do what is best for the long-term health of the monarchy," a palace insider recently told the entertainment news magazine.

However, we found no such article on the web site of Life & Style magazine, nor has any reliable news outlet or other official source reported this information.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.