Spanish media giant falsely claims that Swedish princess has killed herself

'God, how stupid they are. Shame, that's all I can say,' healthy princess tells reporters

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The Independent Online

A major Spanish news company has been criticised after it falsely reported a member of the Swedish royal family had committed suicide, when she was in fact alive and well.

Media giant Vocento used its popular news websites El Diario Vasco and El Comercio to spread a report which claimed Princess Birgitta of Sweden had taken an overdose of prescription pills and died in her home.

"A neighbour raised the alarm after being surprised that they had not seen Birgitta for a week, and noting her car was in the garage," the report read. "The police found her lifeless in her home next to a bottle of pills."

The report was posted and promoted on the front pages of both sites. Suspecting the news to be false, Swedish tabloid Expressen contacted the 79-year-old royal.

"I think they should do a bit more research before they write those kinds of things. That's my honest opinion," she told the paper from her home on Mallorca. "God, how stupid they are. Shame, that's all I can say."

It appeared the report had been published due to a confusion: two days earlier, the similarly-named Princess Brigitta of Prussia had been found dead in her home at the age of 77, according to German media.

The report additionally attempted to draw a link between the death of her husband Prince Johann Georg of Hohenzollern in March this year, and Princess Birgitta's apparent suicide.

Meanwhile Vocento acknowledged the mistake and agreed to remove the erroneous piece immediately.