Queen Elizabeth II delivered her annual Christmas message this year. However, this year there was a twist to the monarch’s tradition – a deepfake version was presented by Channel 4 on Friday. In the fake digital version, the Queen takes shots at some family members along the way.
The message from the fake version is a serious one – beware of information presented on social media, much of it is phony. It’s “fake news”, as Trump likes to say. We are well aware of how quickly misinformation can travel on the internet. Actress Debra Stephenson plays the Queen. Her reference to Randy Andy has to do with his involvement in the Epstein story. She says she doesn’t think he’ll be heading for North America anytime soon. And, there is a TikTok dance, too.
“If there is a theme to my message today, it is trust. Trust in what is genuine, and what is not,” the fake queen said in the altered version that aired Friday. T
The faux Queen Elizabeth II delivers a few zingers, mentioning the withdrawal of Prince Harry and Meghan from royal duties and Prince Andrew’s step back from active participation in most royal family activities. In the case of Meghan and Harry, she notes, “There are few things more hurtful than someone telling you they prefer the company of Canadians.”
The real Queen’s Christmas message received high ratings this year, the highest rating in years. It didn’t top the ratings of her COVID-19 address, though. The viewership of that address was about 24 million in April.
In her annual address, Her Majesty told the country that people “are not alone” in struggling without absent friends and family over the festive period. “Even on the darkest nights there is hope in the new dawn,” she added in a note of hope.
The speech topped the Christmas Day television ratings battle after being watched by 8.2M people across BBC One and ITV, according to overnight figures supplied by overnights.tv.
That 8.2M is likely to be Queen Elizabeth II’s biggest Christmas Day audience in some time. According to a website that collates Christmas Day TV audiences, it could be her highest rating in as many as 18 years.
Channel 4 released a brief statement explaining that the message of caution is an important one.
Director of programs at Channel 4, Ian Katz said: “Deepfake technology is the frightening new frontier in the battle between misinformation and truth. This year’s Alternative Christmas Address – seemingly delivered by one of the most familiar and trusted figures in the nation – is a powerful reminder that we can no longer trust our own eyes.”
Prince Harry and Meghan are reported to be negotiating an extension of their Megxit deal with the Royal family. Their deals with Netflix ($100M) and Spotify ($30M) aside, they would like another 12 months deal with Buckingham Palace. The current deal is set to expire on March 31. It allows them to hold on to their royal patronages, or charity support duties. They want to retain their patronages. Of all the Royal family, Harry and Meghan are the most woke, especially in their choices of progressive organizations.
Meghan’s patronages include organizations that forward women’s empowerment, universal education and animal welfare.
Harry’s include his title as president of the African Parks nonprofit conservation charity and the Invictus Games foundation.
Harry is also hoping to regain the honorary military posts that were stripped from him during Megxit, The Sun reported.
The deepfake nod to those two Royal snots was well-deserved. They’d like their cake and eat it, too.
They will make friendly video calls to senior royals next month before Harry heads here for face-to-face talks, possibly accompanied by Meghan. Their deal with Buckingham Palace expires on March 31.
Talks are said to be “less confrontational” than at January’s Sandringham summit.
But royal aides will pore over the Netflix and Spotify deals, reportedly worth £100million and £30million respectively, to ensure they meet “the values of Her Majesty”.
At least the two will trouble themselves to attend some important events in the new year. It’s the least they can do.
Harry and Meghan are also looking to return to the U.K. for Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday in April, for Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday in June, and for the unveiling of a statue of Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, The Sun reported.
I’m sure after a horrible year (annus horribilis) with the coronavirus and all that it entails, the Brits enjoyed a little levity from the deepfake as it presented an important reminder to be cautious about what is real and what is not.