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9 September

Cecil Beaton/Victoria & Albert museum


In the headlines

Britain has begun a 10-day period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. The date for the royal funeral has not been set, but it is expected to take place on Monday 19 September. Bells began tolling at midday today at Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral and Windsor Castle; a gun salute in Hyde Park, Edinburgh Castle and elsewhere, with a shot fired for each year of the Queen’s life, started at 1pm. The Queen’s coffin will initially lie in rest at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh. It will then be taken to Westminster Hall, where mourners will be able to file past over four days’ lying in state. King Charles III is on his way to London from Balmoral and will address the nation at 6pm this evening. He will be formally proclaimed King at the Accession Council at St James’s Palace at 10am tomorrow.

Global update
On the way out

Unpicking the Queen’s iconography from “the fabric of national life” will take time, says The Guardian. The 4.5 billion banknotes and 29 billion coins with her face on them will need to be replaced with versions featuring Charles. The King will be facing left, unlike the Queen, who faces right; since 1600 the direction has alternated with each new monarch. Senior barristers, known as the Queen’s Council or QC, will adopt the moniker KC. MPs will not be allowed to sit in the Commons or receive a salary until they swear an updated oath to His Majesty. And the 600-plus businesses that hold the Queen’s royal warrant – from Weetabix to Tabasco – will lose their status unless they are bestowed the honour by her successor or another member of the royal family.

Love etc

The Queen’s wedding to Philip in 1947 had the “traditional last-minute panics”, says The Times. A tiara lent to the bride by her grandmother snapped and had to be repaired. Then the princess realised her pearls were at St James’s Palace, half a mile away. Her private secretary ran outside and commandeered the nearest royal Daimler, shouting at the chauffeur: “To St James’s Palace!” It was only then that he noticed an “elderly figure, resplendent with orders and decorations”, in the back seat. “You seem to be in a hurry, young man,” said King Haakon VII of Norway. “By all means have my car, but do let me get out first.”


The Queen was “never happier than on a racecourse watching her horses”, says the Daily Mail, as this video of her at the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup shows. Sitting beside her racing manager John Warren in the royal box, the pair cheered on ecstatically as her filly Estimate galloped to victory.


“America has been around for 246 years,” says political scientist Ian Bremmer on Twitter. Since the Queen reigned for 70 years, that means she was on the throne for “30% of America’s existence”.

Gone viral

As tributes pour in from world leaders, some of the biggest brands have been unable to resist the temptation to join in. Touching, but perhaps incongruous, messages have been posted by everyone from Greggs, the high street baker, to Ann Summers, which sells racy lingerie. One of the most widely shared messages was from the official Paddington Bear account, which read simply: “Thank you Ma’am, for everything.”

Reactions from around the world


quoted 09-09-22

“In times when nothing stood

But worsened, or grew strange,

There was one constant good:

She did not change.”

Philip Larkin