Viral Photo of "Little Boy" Escaping Buckingham Palace Is a Total Hoax

Abi Travis - Author

Jul. 14 2020, Updated 4:14 p.m. ET

little boy escaping from buckingham palace
Source: Twitter

If you’ve spent even a little bit of time researching the royal family, you know that there are always at least a couple of scandals or controversies surrounding them at all times. However, you might also realize that often, those “scandals” and “controversies” are actually total baloney and have been made up solely to stir the pot.

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Back in 2015, a video of someone escaping Buckingham Palace — in the nude, no less — made the internet rounds. Now, it seems to have picked up steam once again. Some people seem convinced there is actual footage of a little boy escaping from Buckingham Palace. Don’t worry, though. There’s an explanation (although it is a pretty weird one).

boy escaping buckingham palace fake hoax
Source: Twitter
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This photo of a “little boy” escaping from Buckingham Palace is going viral once again.

This photo that you may have seen in your various feeds is actually a screenshot from a video that was initially uploaded to YouTube in 2015 (the video has since been removed from the site). The video was apparently shot by tourists waiting for the changing of the Queen’s Guard outside Buckingham Palace when they caught something else entirely: A naked man climbing out of the palace window using a bedsheet as a makeshift rope.

As it turns out, though, the video was actually just a publicity stunt. According to Variety, the video was a marketing ploy for the launch of E!’s scripted show The Royals. The show covers a completely fictional version of the British royal family. What better way to drum up popularity for the show than by staging a fake royal scandal? The video definitely did the trick, too — it garnered more than 1 million views over the course of a few days. Now, though, things have taken a bit of a turn.

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buckingham palace escape conspiracy theory
Source: YouTube

In November of 2019, a YouTube channel called “Covert Geopolitics” reposted the publicity stunt footage, only this time they gave it a new name: “Child Escaping from Buckingham Palace Naked.” As you can probably imagine, people got a little freaked out by the “new” video. Even though it clearly does not depict a child. And, as we’ve already covered, it was filmed to promote a television show.

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Even though the footage had already been debunked and revealed as a publicity stunt, it somehow was able to concern some people enough to post about the “little boy’s” “escape” on Twitter. And just like that, a five-year-old (fake) scandal was given new life.

conspiracy theory buckingham palace escape
Source: Twitter
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Internet conspiracy theories being what they are, the footage (and screenshots of it) suddenly started spreading. And nearly every time someone online pointed out that the footage was fake, they were accused of hiding the “truth.” As with most conspiracy theories, some people still insist the footage is real — and that it’s of a child (even though it clearly is not).

It can definitely be difficult to wade through the many conspiracy theories that pop up online. And, to be fair, the royal family doesn’t have a completely squeaky clean record. However, you can rest assured that, at least in this case, with this particular footage, there’s no deeper scandal going on. Whew!

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