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We Are Very Happy to Report That King Charles Is, In Fact, Not Dead

 King Charles.
King Charles.

Social media is a hell of a drug, and the latest spiral the collective internet has gone down is that King Charles, who is currently undergoing treatment for an undisclosed type of cancer, had died. The rumors were so rampant that a Russian state-run news organization today shared an announcement that he had succumbed to the disease, forcing Buckingham Palace to share in a statement that it was “happy to confirm that The King is continuing with official and private business.” He’s alive!

“The Russian media outlet’s original report replicated correspondence from the Palace, even including the monarch’s official seal,” Us Weekly reports. The fake statement from the Russian media outlet read “The following announcement is made by royal communications. The King passed away unexpectedly yesterday afternoon.”

King Charles
King Charles

This report dovetailed with speculation on social media that the BBC is preparing for a major announcement regarding the royal family. While many thought the BBC announcement could be about Princess Kate—who herself is in a health crisis at the moment—other rumors suggested that the Palace was releasing dire information about the King, most of it coming from the hashtag #RoyalAnnouncement.

The King has kept his public-facing duties to a minimum but has hosted various meetings at Buckingham Palace as other royal family members attend events in his place outside of the residence. The King is not only alive but planning to be so for some time, as he reportedly very much wants to attend the monarch’s annual public birthday celebration, Trooping the Colour, on June 15. Charles would normally arrive on horseback to his birthday parade but, amid his cancer treatments, would modify that this year by arriving in a carriage from Buckingham Palace. He would then watch the proceedings from a podium rather than horseback.

King Charles
King Charles

The King is “determined to attend” Trooping the Colour, The Daily Mail reports. “There are a number of key events His Majesty would love to attend coming up in the diary, and this is at the top of the list,” a source told the outlet.

After all, it is his birthday celebration. Queen Elizabeth herself last appeared on horseback a full 38 years ago in 1986 and opted for a carriage in years that followed, so there is certainly a precedent set. Even though her birthday was in April and Charles’ is in November, every year the monarch’s public birthday celebration is in June, chosen because London generally has favorable weather conditions that month and the festivities take place outside. The grand military procession has occurred since 1760, and this will be Charles’ second Trooping the Colour held in his honor. The event is one of the biggest military ceremonies of the year and features more than 200 horses and more than 1,200 soldiers and musicians.

King Charles
King Charles

“Traditionally the monarch rides along on horseback from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade via The Mall to inspect the troops, before returning to the Palace for a balcony appearance to watch the flypast,” The Daily Express reports. The outlet added that “Buckingham Palace have confirmed that planning is now underway for Trooping the Colour and staff are now considering their options to ensure the King will be able to attend as long as he ‘gets the nod’ from his medical team.”

King Charles
King Charles

A source close to the royal household told People that Charles is “coping well” amid his cancer treatment, which began February 5. He was most recently photographed meeting with the Baroness Scotland of Asthal, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, last week.