London Bridge is underway. All the developments we’ve seen today coming out of Buckingham Palace and continue to see coming now mean that London Bridge, the plans that have been in place for quite some time in the event of Queen Elizabeth’s passing, have been activated. The palace’s statement today, in strong language confirming that doctors were “concerned” about the Queen’s health, and the heads up about how other members of the royal family were en route to join the Queen at Balmoral all pointed in this direction.
I work in media and I can tell you that many of my colleagues here in Canada and around the world had been on standby all day, and that major networks globally immediately initiated their own protocols for these kinds of events once the first statement was put out. Everyone on the BBC started wearing all black. Regular programming on the BBC was suspended for the day and they were covering the Queen’s situation non-stop even before her passing was confirmed, waiting on standby for an announcement. Which is why this site today is lighter than I originally intended – because our lineups are constantly changing and we’ve been trying to adjust and there was so much going on for our team here with TIFF as well.
It’s been 70 years. The majority of people have never experienced this before and today we witness the crown transition from Queen to King. They are already referring to the prince formally known as Charles as “King”. And it’s just been confirmed that he will be King Charles III.
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/VfxpXro22W
A statement from His Majesty The King: pic.twitter.com/AnBiyZCher— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
NEW: Prime Minister named Charles as King Charles III— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 8, 2022
In the coming days, King Charles III and his family will continue with the next steps from the London Bridge playbook with more announcements coming in due time. For now though, we also know that Camilla is “Queen Consort”. There is no way they’ll move to change that and have her be referred to as just “Queen” in the near future, if ever.
This is the first time a British sovereign has passed in the age of the 24 hour news cycle and social media. Is Buckingham Palace prepared for an event of such significance in these times? This is an institution steeped in tradition, and we will see these traditions on full display and glory in the coming days and weeks. But we will also see how well they adapt to our current reality.
All to be discussed going forward.