Video shows student choir reciting Hindu verses in 2009, not after Queen Elizabeth II's death in 2022

·3 min read

A video has been viewed hundreds of times in social media posts that claim it shows a student choir reciting Hindu verses after the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in September 2022. The claim, however, is false. The video predates the queen's passing, and it actually shows a student choir reciting Hindu verses in 2009 at Buckingham Palace in London during the launch of the Queen's Baton Relay for the 19th Commonwealth Games.

The two-minute-long video was posted here on Twitter on September 11, 2022.

It shows what appears to be a group of students singing on a stage. The video's narrator can be heard saying the group is a choir from a school in Hammersmith, in west London.

"They represent many, many different nationalities and they're going to perform a poetic verse, the shloka," the narrator says.

Shloka, also known as sloka, is a couplet or distich of Sanskrit verse, especially one with each line containing 16 syllables.

"See this Indian Sanatana preaching [teachings of Hinduism] is being recited after the death of the Queen of England," reads in part the post's Hindi-language caption. 

A screenshot of the misleading post, captured on September 19, 2022

The claim began to circulate after Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history, died on September 8 at her Scottish Highland retreat. She was 96 years old.

The same video alongside similar claims has also been shared on Facebook and elsewhere on Twitter.

The claim, however, is false.

Old video

The video bears the watermark "www.wildfilmsindia.com", which is the website of Wilderness Films India, a New Delhi-based content and production house.

A graphic overlay that is visible at the video's 11-second mark shows a "DELHI 2010" logo next to the words "The St James School Choir".

A keyword search on Google found the same video published here on the verified YouTube Channel of Wilderness Films India on May 22, 2019.

The video is titled "Students of St James School Choir recite shlokas at Buckingham Palace".

"The St James School Choir recites a spiritual poem called the shlokas at Buckingham Palace during the CWG Queen Baton 2010," reads the video's description.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the video seen in the misleading posts (left) and the video posted by Wilderness Films India (right):

A screenshot comparison between the video seen in the misleading posts (left) and the video posted by Wilderness Films India (right)

Relay launch event

The "CWG Queen Baton 2010" refers to the Queen's Baton Relay for the 19th Commonwealth Games, which was held in the Indian capital city Delhi in 2010.

The relay sees a baton containing a message from the monarch carried across the Commonwealth, starting from Buckingham Palace in London and ending in the Games' host city.

The relay for the 2010 Games started at  Buckingham Palace on October 29, 2009.

Separate keyword searches on Google found videos of the event taken from different angles published on Facebook by the Games' organisers on November 25, 2009, as well as on YouTube by ABC News Australia on October 30, 2009.

The videos show that the recital of the shlokas was part of the relay launch event.

Below is a screenshot comparison between the video seen in the misleading posts (left) and the video posted by the Games' organisers (right):

A screenshot comparison between the video seen in the misleading posts (left) and the video posted by the Games' organisers (right)

AFP has debunked other misinformation that circulated after the queen's death here, here and here.