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A photo of Queen Elizabeth II is seen at a bus stop in London on Sept. 9, 2022. She died Sept. 8, 2022, at age 96 after 70 years on the throne. (AP) A photo of Queen Elizabeth II is seen at a bus stop in London on Sept. 9, 2022. She died Sept. 8, 2022, at age 96 after 70 years on the throne. (AP)

A photo of Queen Elizabeth II is seen at a bus stop in London on Sept. 9, 2022. She died Sept. 8, 2022, at age 96 after 70 years on the throne. (AP)

Madison Czopek
By Madison Czopek September 9, 2022

Queen Elizabeth died in the United Kingdom, not in Detroit

If Your Time is short

  • Queen Elizabeth II “died peacefully” at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, U.K. on Sept. 8, according to officials from the royal family.

  • There’s no evidence that the queen has been anywhere near Detroit in years.

The United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, spurring social media rumors about what caused the 96-year-old’s death. 

One of the more outlandish posts claimed the queen died by violence in the United States. 

"Queen Elizabeth shot dead in Detroit," read an image shared on Instagram on Sept. 8. The post also features a "Rap TV" logo. 

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

(Screenshot from Instagram.)

Rap TV is a hip-hop-focused news outlet that has for years been the target of memes that parody its social media posts and reporting style.

It is unclear whether this particular image was shared as a joke — perhaps as one of many memes of the queen — but the claim is inaccurate.

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The royal family’s official account announced Sept. 8 that Elizabeth had "died peacefully at Balmoral" that afternoon. Just hours earlier, officials for the royal family had said that the queen was under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle, the monarch’s summer home in Scotland.

During a 1959 trip to Canada and the United States the queen explored the Detroit River, some of the Great Lakes and passed under the Mackinac Bridge on the royal yacht Britannia. 

The State Department has no record of Elizabeth visiting the U.S. since a state visit to commemorate the English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia, on its 400th anniversary in 2007.

Misinformation about the British royal family and the queen has spread online for years, and this claim about the queen’s death is no different.

Our ruling

An image shared on Instagram claimed that Queen Elizabeth II was "shot dead in Detroit."

She died peacefully in Scotland on Sept. 8, according to officials from the royal family. There’s no evidence that the queen has been anywhere near Detroit in years. 

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

Our Sources

Instagram post, Sept. 8, 2022

Detroit Free Press, "Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II dies, remembered in Windsor as ‘a formidable public servant,’" Sept. 9, 2022

Wired, "Queen Elizabeth II has died. Here’s how the internet will remember her," Sept. 8, 2022

Know Your Meme, "RapTV / @Rap," accessed Sept. 9, 2022

The royal family’s tweet, Sept. 8, 2022 

The Washington Post, "Here’s what we know about the queen’s health," Sept. 8, 2022

The Washington Post, "Where is Balmoral Castle?" Sept. 8, 2022

MLive, "Remembering Queen Elizabeth II’s trip under the Mackinac Bridge aboard Britannia," Sept. 9, 2022

Rap TV, accessed Sept. 9, 2022

NBC 10 Boston, "When Queen Elizabeth visited Boston: Redcoats, the royal wave and American cheering," Sept. 8, 2022

Department of State, "Visits by foreign leaders of United Kingdom," accessed Sept. 9, 2022

The White House Historical Association, "The White House and Queen Elizabeth II," accessed Sept. 9, 2022

NPR, "Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch, has died at 96," Sept. 8, 2022

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More by Madison Czopek

Queen Elizabeth died in the United Kingdom, not in Detroit

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