Black ties, sombre radio music and ‘no comedy’ – all the changes you’ll notice on TV

The Queen has died at the age of 96. Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in the history of Britain and across the nation her death has triggered a number of closures and cancellations.

This includes the cancellation of concerts, sporting events and other planned activities.

Officials at Buckingham Palace pinned a notice to the gates as crowds gathered outside to mark her passing and the death of the nation’s longest-reigning monarch will be felt across the country as millions of people mourn Her Majesty's passing.

Across the UK we will notice multile changes to the normal routine as the country enters a ten day period of mourning. The detailed plans are codenamed Operation London Bridge and include radio playlists expected to stay 'calm' and 'inoffensive'.

Radio music was for many one of the first signs that something serious had happened as radio presenters switched from their planned playlists to sombre tunes ahead of the announcement.

In radio studios across the country there is a blue light that flashes to alert producers they need to adjust the music to something sombre, in preparation a big announcement.

The BBC also pulled its schedule as it prepared to make the announcement of the Queen's passing.

The BBC will also remove all of its comedy programmes during the mourning period, while male presenters will wear black ties.

Yesterday Radio presenter Vanessa Feltz echoed the mood of the country as she fought back tears making the sad announcement.

Chris Price, a BBC radio producer, wrote for the Huffington Post in 2011: "Every station, down to hospital radio, has prepared music lists made up of “Mood 2” (sad) or “Mood 1” (saddest) songs to reach for in times of sudden mourning."

He added: "If you ever hear Haunted Dancehall (Nursery Remix) by Sabres of Paradise on daytime Radio 1, turn the TV on,” wrote "Something terrible has just happened.”"

At 6.31pm, Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Following that, King Charles III issued a statement on the death of his mother which said: "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.”


  • Queen Elizabeth II 'dies peacefully' aged 96 with Prince Charles by her side

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  • William and Kate inherit Charles and Camilla's titles and step into roles amid grief

  • Prince Harry heartbreakingly arrives at Balmoral alone an hour after Queen's death announcement

  • Unbelievable moment 10-year-old Elizabeth discovered she was destined to be Queen

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