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Behind-the-scenes footage shows newsroom just before the announcement of The Queen's death

Tom Wood

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Behind-the-scenes footage shows newsroom just before the announcement of The Queen's death

A piece of behind-the-scenes footage has shown what the BBC newsroom was like in the moments leading up to the announcement of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. You can see the momentous moment unfold in the video below.

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It was one of those moments in life that will be remembered far and wide, as people will remember where they were when they heard the news that the British monarch of more than 70 years had died.

It’s like when John F Kennedy was shot, or man landed on the moon, one of those moments that unifies everyone in their collective experience of the passage of time.

It’s a big responsibility for those in charge of it, which – for most of us – was Huw Edwards at the BBC.

In the short clip, there is much hustle and bustle taking place in the busy newsroom, before screens showed that royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell was to join Huw on the broadcast.

Then, a large number of very tense looking BBC employees can be seen standing behind the camera ready to witness history, before Edwards calmly announces: “A few moments ago, Buckingham Palace announced the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.

Huw Edwards delivered the news of Queen Elizabeth II's death to the world. Credit: BBC News
Huw Edwards delivered the news of Queen Elizabeth II's death to the world. Credit: BBC News

As the BBC celebrates 100 years in existence, it’s hard to think of many more era-defining moments than that.

At the time, there was some speculation that members of the production team might have known what was coming before everyone else.

It was widely remarked that the presenters and reporters all changed into black suits and ties well ahead of time.

Perhaps that was just a precaution, though.

Edwards himself said that he only got the heads-up that he was about to have likely the most important moment of his stellar presenting career just 10 seconds before he was set to go live.

After the fact, he told the Radio Times: "Usually, when you have a breaking news story there's a lot of shouting in your ear from the gallery, saying, 'Go to the news, go to the news,' but this time was different,

"The announcement came up on the wires and the gallery said, 'the announcement is here. Take your time. Speak when you are ready.'”

Huw Edwards was visibly moved by the news. Credit: BBC News
Huw Edwards was visibly moved by the news. Credit: BBC News

10 seconds is not a lot of time to compose yourself for a moment like that, but Edwards is a seasoned professional.

Despite being a proud Welshman, and having previously showing flickers of support for Welsh independence, Edwards went on to describe how affected he was by the death of Elizabeth II.

"I was sad," he explained.

"It was the end of an era in British history, the end of a presence that has been with many people throughout their entire lives."

Featured Image Credit: BBC News

Topics: UK News, Royal Family, BBC

Tom Wood
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