At around 6:30pm UK time, BBC reporter Huw Edwards announced on air in a low voice that the Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on Thursday afternoon.
“A few minutes ago, Buckingham Palace announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II,” Edwards said.
“The palace has just released this statement. It said, ‘The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen will stay at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow. ‘”
Within the first five minutes, Edwards repeated the statement four times for late corrections. He quickly regained the throne as Queen in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI. It’s been more than 70 years since then.
A similar scene was playing out on news TV shows across the UK at the same time.
Edwards said: “She heard the news while at a gaming lodge in Kenya at the age of 25. And her coronation at Westminster Abbey was watched by more than 20 million people.
Similar statement read by Edwards and published in Royal TwitterFacebook and Instagram accounts, as well as the family’s official website.
The news comes just hours after Buckingham Palace released a statement earlier on Thursday that, “Following further assessment this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned about the Queen’s well-being and advised her to continue under medical supervision.”
Within about an hour, the BBC canceled all its usual programming to focus on her health.
“Winston Churchill was British Prime Minister when she took the throne. Liz Truss is the 15th prime minister,” Edwards said in the minutes following the announcement.
“The Queen’s death will end the longest reign in British history, spanning eight decades of immense change. During all that time, His Majesty was a constant presence in public life. “