FACT CHECK: Is This A Photo Of Queen Elizabeth II In A Spitfire Fighter Plane?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows the late Queen Elizabeth II piloting a WWII Spitfire Fighter Plane.

Verdict: False

The image is a digital compilation of two different pictures. A reverse image search generates the original photo of Spitfire Pilot Charlie Brown, not the Queen.

Fact Check:

The Queen died Sept. 8 at her Balmoral estate surrounded by family after having been put on medical supervision earlier in the day, Reuters reported. She was laid to rest Sept. 19 in London following 10 days of national mourning, according to Yahoo News.

The Facebook photo, which has over 130,000 likes, shows the Queen smiling at a camera while inside a WWII Spitfire Fighter Plane. “Even the Queen of England loved WWII fighters! Stallion 51 thanks Queen Elizabeth for her years of dedicated service. Far winds,” the post’s caption reads.

The image is digitally altered. A reverse image search generates the original photo of Spitfire Pilot and flying instructor Charlie Brown featured on a webpage from U.K.-based shoe company Herring Shoes.

The image of the Queen’s face comes from an April 2015 Getty Images photo of the monarch watching a horse race at Newbury Racecourse. (RELATED: Does This Video Show Queen Elizabeth II Throwing Food To African Children?)

The Queen did serve in the military during World War II, when she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) while still a princess, according to the National WWII Museum. She was trained as a mechanic and was eventually promoted to Junior Commander during her service before the war ended in May 1945, the outlet reported.

She received her first military appointment, Colonel in Chief of the Balaklava Company, 5th Battalion of The Royal Regiment of Scotland when she turned 21, according to the Royal Family’s website. As head of the Armed Forces, the Queen held over fifty ranks and appointments throughout her life, the website states, though does not mention her ever piloting a plane.

Check Your Fact has contacted the Ministry of Defence Press Office for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter


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