The Chaser divides opinion by mocking Queen's death: 'Too soon?'

Australian comedy group The Chaser have bitterly divided opinion online for making fun of Queen Elizabeth II's passing overnight with a string of fast-fingered jokes at the monarch's expense.

As news came through from the palace that doctors were worried about the monarch's deteriorating health and family rushed to her side, the beloved comedy troupe couldn't help themselves.

"Warning: The Crown spoilers incoming," The Chaser account tweeted to its more than 257,000 followers, referring to the popular Netflix show.

Thursday was R U OK day, which the satirical group noted was probably the wrong question to ask the Queen on her death bed.

People react outside the Buckingham Palace, after Queen Elizabeth II's death.
People react outside the Buckingham Palace, after Queen Elizabeth II's death. Source: Reuters

With the writing on the wall, but no official confirmation from the palace, the Chaser went on to make a number of jokes poking fun at her death.

"The Queen quiet quits," they mocked, referring to the growing trend of employees doing the bare minimum at work.

"Queen dies, leader of Australia remains the same," they joked, sharing a picture of News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch – notorious for his influence on Australian politics through his right-wing News Corp media outlets.

Many Aussies, and perhaps aspiring republicans, clearly enjoyed the comedy with the tweets racking up hundreds of likes and shares.

Comments poured in from those appreciating the dark comedy from the Aussie troupe well known for pushing the boundaries.

But some appeared to think it was either too soon to be making fun of the 96-year-old's demise or thought it was poor form.

"Good one to delete early guys," responded one Twitter user.

"Too soon?" wondered another.

A woman reacts in front of Queen Victoria memorial outside the Buckingham Palace, after Queen Elizabeth, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and the nation's figurehead for seven decades, died aged 96, in London, Britain September 8, 2022. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
A woman reacts in front of Queen Victoria memorial outside the Buckingham Palace. Source: Reuters

Others called out the group for bad taste for their tweets.

"Ohh little bit bad taste there," one follower chided.

"Yeah nah not good. Probs delete," another agreed.

"Love you guys, but you're not reading the room at this point," another said.

Despite the plurality of opinion about the edgy comedy, The Chaser was more than happy to double down.

According to its Twitter page, the group sent an "internal memo" to all staff about the Queen's death, sarcastically demanding they remain "RESPECTFUL" in their coverage before bringing up past controversies and scandals of the palace and the new king.

"When talking about The Queen’s legacy, don’t focus on the paedophile son that she protected," the 'memo' read.

"Instead perhaps concentrate on all the children she had that were normal and well adjusted (can’t think of any right now, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find some). Edward perhaps? Is he still a thing?"

The tongue-in-cheek memo was signed by Chaser leader Charles Firth. When contacted by Yahoo News Australia, the Chaser frontman didn’t back away from the gag, providing a statement that was partly unsuitable to print.

"Look, all I’ll say is that we’re devastated here at The Chaser to see a life cut short like this. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time," he said.

Tributes, including from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, have poured in since the palace announced the death early Friday morning.

Mourners have gathered outside Buckingham Palace as Britain grieves the loss.

Queen Elizabeth died aged 96 after ruling for seven decades.

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