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- This video was made in what is now Vietnam nearly 40 years before Queen Elizabeth II was born. The woman in the 1889 film is throwing coins, not food.
Queen Elizabeth II’s death has sparked reflection on her seven-decade reign and reinvigorated criticism of the British Empire and colonialism in Africa. But a video spreading on social media doesn’t show the late monarch "feeding Africans."
The video shows a woman in a white dress and white hat throwing items to the ground. People at her feet scramble to scoop them up.
"Queen Elizabeth II feeding Africans like chickens decades back," one Facebook post sharing the video said.
"I wonder whom of these was my grandmother," read another. "The saddest part of this story is that Africans have vehemently refused to admit that Queen Elisa was the devil."
These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
A reverse Google image search of a still from the video brought us to an Australian arts organization’s website that was promoting screenings of "A World Vision," which the site said "recontextualizes" Gabriel Veyre’s film "Enfants annamites ramassant des sapèques devant la pagode des dames."
That French title loosely translates in English to mean children from Annam picking up sapèque. Annam is the name for French-governed Vietnam and sapèque are coins issued by France in the late 19th century for use in Indochina.
The film is from 1889, about 37 years before Elizabeth was born. Zooming in on the woman throwing the coins shows she bore little resemblance to the famous British monarch.
Around the time the film was made, Paul Doumer was appointed governor general of Indochina. He later served as president of France. Madame Doumer was his wife.
As India Today reported, Veyre traveled the French colonies in Vietnam, shooting photographs and movies for the French government to exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle.
Posts that claim this video shows Queen Elizabeth II feeding children like animals are wrong. We rate them False.
Facebook post, Sept. 8, 2022
Facebook post, Sept. 8, 2022
YouTube, QUEEN ELIZABETH FEEDING POOR AFRICAN KIDS, Sept. 8, 2022
New York Times, In Africa, the queen’s death renews a debate about the legacy of the British Empire, Sept. 9, 2022
Knack, Factcheck: nee, dit is niet de Queen die kinderen voert alsof het dieren zijn, Sept. 9, 2022
Britannica, Annam, visited Sept. 9, 2022
Merriam-Webster, sapeque, visited Sept. 9, 2022
Britannica, Paul Doumer, visited Sept. 9, 2022
Brecht Castel Twitter thread, Sept. 9, 2022
L’œuvre cinématographique des frères Lumière, Enfants annamites ramassant des sapèques devant la pagode des dames, visited Sept. 9, 2022
PBS, A timeline of Queen Elizabeth’s life, Sept. 8, 2022
The Substation, A World Vision, visited Sept. 9, 2022
YouTube, Lumière: Enfants annamites ramassant des sapèques devant la pagode des dames, Nov. 28, 2021
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