At 7:34 am EST September 8, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the health of Queen Elizabeth II is deteriorating. This prompted news organizations around the world to change their daily programming. According to “Operation London Bridge”, the British public broadcaster BBC changed its presenters into black clothes hours before the Queen’s death was officially announced (via GQ). According to the plan, the BBC became the first television station to learn of the Queen’s death.
The international television community soon followed suit, changing their plans and descending into total chaos. The keeper YouTube the channel collected snippets of TV broadcasts from around the world reporting on the Queen’s death. Most of the clips show the presenters confused and shocked as they announce the news, sometimes disrupting existing programming. Sandra Smith of Fox News was visibly caught off guard by the announcement saying, “The King… The Queen has passed away.”
During a conversation with Diversity, Aline Pivot, head of news at TF1, France’s most popular commercial channel, spoke about how the death of the Queen, like any major event, takes precedence over general programming. “We immediately sent correspondents to Balmoral. [in the Scottish Highlands, where the Queen died],” the executive director said. TF1 began its special coverage after the Queen’s health was called into question earlier in the morning.
France Televisions, the country’s public broadcaster, like many others, has begun producing programs directly related to the royal family. Italian public broadcaster RAI also focused its programming on Thursday to focus exclusively on the Queen. Meanwhile, Sky Italia is paying tribute to the monarch by showing a slew of movies dedicated to the queen, according to Variety. Several international publications, including TF1, have confirmed that the programming for the next two weeks will reflect interest in the royal family. “We don’t know when we’ll be back to our regular programming,” Pivot confirmed.