Viral video does not show the Queen throwing food at 'African' children

12 September 2022
What was claimed

A video shows Queen Elizabeth II throwing food at "African" children.

Our verdict

The video was filmed more than 25 years before the Queen’s birth, and actually shows two French women throwing coins at a group of Vietnamese children.

In a video widely shared on social media in recent days, two white women can be seen throwing handfuls of something onto the ground in front of a group of children, who then attempt to pick the items up.

Many posts, including this example shared on Facebook, and this tweet, have claimed that one of the women is Queen Elizabeth II, and the video shows her scattering food in front of "African" children “like chickens”.

This is not true. The footage was actually filmed over 25 years before the Queen was born, and shows the wife of former French President Paul Doumer and her daughter throwing coins in front of a group of children in what is now Vietnam.

While the versions of the video circulating on social media are of low quality, a Google reverse image search of a clearer version of the clip shared on the Chinese social network Weibo returns a link to the Wikipedia page of French filmmaker Gabriel Veyre. This in turn includes a still from the video, described as: “A film shot by Gabriel Veyre in French Indochina (current Vietnam) depicting two French women tossing Sapèques [coins] into a crowd of Annamite (Vietnamese) children.”

According to Catalogue Lumière— which catalogues films produced by the Lumière company, named after the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière, who were responsible for some of the earliest motion pictures— the film in question is titled: “Enfants annamites ramassant des sapèques devant la pagode des dames” which translates as “Annamese children picking up cash in front of the ladies' pagoda”.

The website states that the clip was filmed between 28 April 1899 and 2 March 1900 in what was at the time French Indochina, now Vietnam, and that the women throwing the coins were “Mrs Paul Doumer and her daughter”. Mr Doumer was at the time Governor-General of French Indochina, and went on to become the President of France in 1931.

It adds that the women were able to be identified as a result of a captioned photograph taken by Mr Veyre.

Image courtesy of Gabriel Veyre

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