Stand up for the facts!

Our only agenda is to publish the truth so you can be an informed participant in democracy.
We need your help.

More Info

I would like to contribute

Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen September 16, 2022

No, this isn’t a real photo of Queen Elizabeth II checking a car’s oil

If Your Time is short

  • The photo was taken as part of an art series by a British artist who specializes in taking pictures of celebrity look-alikes. It doesn’t feature the real queen.

Queen Elizabeth II’s service during World War II as a truck driver and mechanic has been well documented, and a photo shared after her death claims to show the late monarch putting the skills she learned to good use. 

An image posted Sept. 13 on Facebook appears to show Elizabeth standing over a car, holding its dipstick to check the engine’s oil level. A man next to her wearing a racing suit watches as she works. 

"Queen Elizabeth with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and his 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO," the image’s caption states. 

Although her time in the military during the war taught Elizabeth how to repair a car’s engine, the woman in that photo isn’t the queen — it’s an impersonator. 

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.)

Alison Jackson is a British artist known for taking photographs featuring celebrity look-alikes — including the queen

Featured Fact-check

The photo shared on Facebook was taken from Jackson’s "Real Or Not" series, which "plays with the notion you can’t tell what is real and what is not by mixing the real celebrity with the fake."

Several photos of the "queen" are featured in the series, including one in which she’s seen changing a car’s tire and checking the oil. 

That does actually appear to be Mason, however. The garage featured in the photo appears similar to one Mason owns. He has also been photographed in the same racing suit he's wearing in the photo and with the same car

Mason and Jackson were photographed together in 2011. 

Our ruling

A Facebook post shared a photo claiming to show Queen Elizabeth II checking a car engine’s oil. 

Although the queen has experience as a mechanic from her service in World War II, the woman in the photo is an impersonator. The photo was staged by a British artist as part of an art series featuring celebrity impersonators.

We rate this claim False. 

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Andy Nguyen

No, this isn’t a real photo of Queen Elizabeth II checking a car’s oil

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up