Days of Special Programming by Networks Cover the Passing of Queen Elizabeth
The sudden death of Queen Elizabeth II sent a shock wave throughout the world and has brought on more uncertainty for Great Britain, which faces a time of political and economic upheaval.
The 96-year-old queen died peacefully at her Balmoral Castle estate in the Scottish Highlands after being placed under medical supervision. Family members had rushed to her side in her last hours, including Prince Harry, who flew in quickly from California.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a two-line statement affixed to the front gate of Buckingham Palace on September 8th. “The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and return to London tomorrow,” it said, referring to her son Charles and his wife, Camilla.
The Queen’s death is a watershed moment after serving one of the longest reigns in modern history at over 70 years. Charles has now been elevated to the throne, making him the first King Britain has seen since 1952.
King Charles released a statement about his mother’s death, saying, “The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”
It was in 1952 that King George VI had passed away. Princess Elizabeth, and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, set off on an overseas tour in place of the monarch, who was terminally ill with lung cancer.
Elizabeth had heard the news of her father’s death while staying at a game lodge in Kenya and immediately returned to London as the Queen.
She once recalled, “In a way, I didn’t have an apprenticeship. My father died much too young, so it was all a very sudden kind of taking on and making the best job you can.”
Countries throughout the Commonwealth – the association of 56 nations with ties to the former British empire – have spent the last few days sharing their condolences and memories of the Queen. World leaders and members of the public have reflected on Her Majesty’s legacy.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he would never forget the queen’s “warmth and kindness.”
French President Emmanuel Macron Tweeted that he would “remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”
Networks, including radio stations, rushed to provide coverage the same day of her passing and continue to broadcast about her late Majesty.
CNN scheduled a special the day after her death called A Queen for the Ages: Elizabeth II, which was reported by anchor and royal correspondent Max Foster.
ABC News devoted its entire prime-time to the Queen that same night. George Stephanopoulos anchored a special at 8 PM ET on her life and legacy, and at 9 PM ET there was a two-hour 20/20 special, Queen Elizabeth II: A Royal Life.
“CBS Evening News” devoted its entire headline tease segment to the Queen’s death. “NBC Nightly News” also had an extended introduction from anchor Lester Holt that showcased multiple historic photos of the queen using Studio 1A’s multiple video walls in both standup and “video on video” shots.
Spanish-language Telemundo used a unique look that included an extended animation of Buckingham Palace with the headline “Reina Isabel,” the Spanish translation of the queen’s name.
Good Morning America featured coverage through this past weekend and continues coverage this week as well. Linsey Davis, Kyra Phillips and Diane Macedo will anchor ABC News Live from London, with plans for coverage over the next week.
Almost every radio station in the UK suspended normal programming around 6.30pm on Thursday to announce the sad death of the Queen. According to RadioToday, the first national radio station to break the news was Times Radio.
The country’s largest commercial radio groups, including all BBC radio stations, followed well-rehearsed procedures to break the news to listeners.
Other radio groups, including Nation and Wireless, independent stations, community, hospital, student and online services, broadcast the news and paid their respects by playing more laid-back music mixed with occasional news announcements.
Members of the public can pay their respects for the Queen at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh for 24 hours starting on Monday afternoon.
From Tuesday, the Queen’s body will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days, where mourners may be invited to file past her coffin. The Queen’s funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, 19 September at Westminster Abbey.
“I don’t know what the details are yet, but I’ll be going,” President Biden told reporters when asked if he will be in attendance.
“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” Biden said. “She was the first British monarch to whom people all around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection, whether they heard her on the radio as a young princess speaking to the children of the United Kingdom, or gathered around their televisions for her coronation, or watched her final Christmas speech or her Platinum Jubilee on their phones. And she, in turn, dedicated her whole life to their service.”