A Reddit user with the handle beefy_cabbage has turned into an online sensation with a collage suggesting that the longest-reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, would pass away on 5 January 2019. The prophecy, posted shortly after Christmas, gained some 50,000 upvotes and 7,000 comments before it was deleted, along with the user’s account. People made all kinds of suggestions, trying to discern the Redditor’s fate in an imaginary battle against the British secret services pertaining to the Queen’s alleged death.
Okay so on r/me_irl, u/beefy_cabbage uploaded this with no context. This sparked memes about the queen dying, the queen being u/beefy_cabbage and revealing a suicide plan, conspiracy theories, and that MI6 is now browsing Reddit looking for threats pic.twitter.com/jXVrqPKViT— меган (@15FandomsCountn) 3 января 2019 г.
Some tried to guess if the user knew when she was going to die, or had a plan to assassinate her; however, others just had fun creating memes. Meanwhile, the buzz grew beyond Reddit, as some media outlets even decided to enlighten their readers as to what would happen if the monarch dies.
The discussions have not ended with the predicted date of death that the Reddit prophecy gave. Social media users jokingly expressed their condolences, posting messages under the hashtag #RIPQueenElizabeth.
Some immediately recognized the news as fake and pointed to Reddit as the possible culprit.
Several fake screenshots also emerged.
In some cases it is hard to tell whether users actually believed that the Queen had died or had just joined a creepy flash mob.
#RIPQueenElizabeth— baguette baguette (@firest3rm6) 5 января 2019 г.
I still can't believe she's gone 😢
It is not the first time that speculation about the Queen’s health has erupted. In 2015, a BBC journalist during a rehearsal for the monarch's obituary reportedly tweeted about Elizabeth’s passing away with a "breaking news" tag. The tweet was later deleted.