FACT CHECK: Did A Protestor Interrupt Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook allegedly shows a protestor interrupting Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral demanding an apology for the country’s role in slave trade.

Verdict: False

The incident occurred in 2007 celebrating the abolishment of the slave trade. No such protest occurred at the funeral.

Fact Check:

The Queen’s funeral took place Sept. 19 following four days of lying in state, according to USA Today. The monarch, who ruled for 70 years, died Sept. 8 at her Balmoral estate after being placed on medical supervision earlier in the day, according to the BBC.

The Facebook video, which is narrated, shows a male protestor allegedly interrupting the funeral. The narrator indicates the protestor demanded an apology from the British government for its role in the slave trade while standing just feet away from the Queen.

“LATE QUEEN ELIZABETH II HAD HER FUNERAL INTERRUPTED,” the video’s caption reads in part. (RELATED: Did A BBC Chyron Say Universities In Ghana Are Closed For A Week To Honor Queen Elizabeth II?)

The claim is incorrect. There is no evidence to support the claim on the Royal Family’s website or their verified social media pages. Likewise, there are no credible news reports about any interruptions during the procession.

A reverse image search generates a 2021 article from the U.K.-based outlet, Express, featuring a video of the incident. The protestor, identified as campaigner Toyin Agbetu, yelled at the Queen during a ceremony at Westminster Abbey commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolishment of the slave trade.

Agbetu called the Queen and then-Prime Minister Tony Blair “disgrace” before being escorted out of the royal church, the outlet indicated. Agbetu, founder of the human rights organization Ligali, was chosen by London Mayor Sadiq Khan to lead his commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, according to a February 2021 article from The Hackney Citizen.

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

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter

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