An image of a billboard featuring a photo of Queen Elizabeth II has gone viral on social media with the caption, “Thank you PM Modi for sending us COVID-19 vaccines. You are a good boy.” The photo has been shared against the backdrop of the UK purchasing 10 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII). The first batch of 5 million doses was dispatched on March 5. Twitter user @anandagarwal554 shared the picture and wrote, “The same British Empire where the sun never set, and which ruled over us for 200 years, is now graciously thanking Prime Minister Modi. Queen Elizabeth II thanked Mr. Modi with this billboard in London for helping supply the COVID-19 vaccine to England.”
जिस ब्रिटिश साम्राज्य मे कभी सुरज अस्त नहीं होता था, जिन्होंने हम पर 200साल राज किया था, वह भी आज प्रधानमंत्री मोदीजी के लिए निवेदित हो धन्यवाद प्रेषित कर रहे है ,,
लंदन में महारानी एलिजाबेथ द्वितीय ने इंग्लैंड को कोरोना वैक्सीन की मदद देने के लिए मोदीजी को धन्यवाद ज्ञापन दिया। pic.twitter.com/Whlp2lDSeM
— 🚩आनंद🚩 (@anandagarwal554) March 12, 2021
The photo and accompanying caption are gathering a lot of traction on Facebook and Twitter.
Alt News also received several requests to investigate the claim on our official app and WhatsApp number (+917600011160).
We performed a reverse image search and found similar photos featured in dozens of news reports. One of these was posted on the British business media website campaignlive.co.uk on April 9, 2020. Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom addressed the nation on the occasion of Easter in 2020. She said that this Easter would be different for many and thanked health workers. The UK went into lockdown on March 23, 2020. The original photo contains part of her address on the billboard, reading, “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” These are lyrics to a popular song by Vera Lynn from the World War II era. The billboard was installed on the Piccadilly Circus building in London.
British tabloid Daily Mail published more photos of the billboard with different parts from the Queen’s address showcased. The one in the second photo reads, “I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles.”
Reverse image search also revealed that this photograph had become a viral meme template.
Recently, an image of another banner saying thank a taxpayer, not Kejriwal was circulated widely. In 2019, an image of the Bombay Stock Exchange electronic billboard was edited with the text, “DON’T VOTE FOR MODI”. Though intended to be humorous, many users believed it to be true. In August 2020, a picture of Lord Ram was photoshopped onto a billboard in Times Square, US.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.