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The musician Prince died because of an accidental fentanyl overdose. His death had no connection to Queen Elizabeth II.
Queen Elizabeth II’s death brought her 70-year reign to an end.
Unending, meanwhile, are the steady flow of queen memes that preceded and followed her Sept. 8 passing.
One such social media post claimed the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch had a sinister connection to the death of the American musician, Prince.
The post was an Instagram video, and it began by showing a screenshot of a Google search for Elizabeth’s birthday, April 21, 1926. The video then cut to a screenshot of the results for "Prince death date": April 21, 2016.
"Yeah, in case you didn’t know, Prince was sacrificed for her 90th birthday," a man in the video says. "If you think it’s a f—ing game, you stupid."
The Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. Instagram is owned by Facebook’s parent company, Meta. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
There is no evidence that Prince’s death was a "sacrifice" or part of any greater conspiracy involving Elizabeth.
Prince, born Prince Rogers Nelson, died at age 57 after being found unresponsive at this Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Minnesota health officials determined Prince died of an accidental fentanyl overdose after unknowingly taking counterfeit Vicodin laced with the highly potent synthetic opioid.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, Elizabeth was celebrating her 90th birthday in Windsor, England, where she was greeting well-wishers.
There is no evidence to suggest the two events were related, and the man in the Instagram video makes no effort to back up his claim other than pointing out the Queen’s birthday was the same day as Prince’s death.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Instagram video, Sept. 8, 2022
Vulture, "The Queen Died and Nobody Online Knows How to Act," Sept. 9, 2022
The New York Times, "Prince, an Artist Who Defied Genre, Is Dead at 57," April 21, 2016
NBC News, "Prince died after taking fake Vicodin laced with fentanyl, prosecutor says," April 19, 2018
National Institute on Drug Abuse, What is fentanyl, June 2021
The Washington Post, "Queen Elizabeth II marks 90th birthday with public appearances, corgi cake," April 21, 2016
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