‘Deepfake’ parody of Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas message has some knickers in a twist

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In releasing its annual “alternative” Christmas message, Britain’s Channel 4 stirred up quite the controversy with a parody video of Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas Day message.

A controversy driven in part to how stunningly realistic the “deepfake” video is, with the channel explaining that it offers “a stark warning about the advanced technology that is enabling the proliferation of misinformation and fake news in a digital age.”


Either way, it seems nothing is sacred these days, not even respect for the tradition of British royalty.

“There’s two parts to this Christmas message,” a Channel 4 representative says in the video. “There is a serious part, which is really a message that people do need to think about where they get information from and whether they can trust the people who give it to them.”

“Obviously, on the other hand, we’re making a little thing on Christmas Day, we want it to be fun. We want it to be entertaining,” the representative added.

“If there is a theme to my message today, it is trust. Trust in what is genuine, and what is not,” the deepfake queen said in the video.

Among the candid things the deepfake Queen discusses is Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s move to North America.

“There are few things more hurtful than someone telling you they prefer the company of Canadians,” said the alternative Queen, who even does a Tik Tok dance routine in the realistic video.

There were also barbs directed at Prince Andrew and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Channel 4 Director of Programmes Ian Katz said in a release “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 we can no longer trust our own eyes.”

Channel 4 released a video showing how it synthetically recreated the queen in the video, explaining that the technology makes it “more easy than most people would think” to manipulate a person’s face and voice

Actress Debra Stephenson filled in for the queen in Channel 4’s “deepfake” video.

Queen Elizabeth’s actual Christmas Day message reportedly drew a large audience as she commended frontline workers for their efforts during the pandemic and spoke to families apart during the holidays because of pandemic restrictions.

As for the criticism, Brexit proponent Nigel Farage led the way:


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