Newspapers were late to newsagents in parts of the UK today as production teams pushed print deadlines to fill special editions and eye-catching front pages to mark news the Queen has died.
The news confirming the Queen’s death broke at 6.30pm with an announcement from Buckingham Palace that her majesty had died that afternoon. This meant first edition deadlines (around 7pm) needed to be pushed back.
From 12.40pm, the BBC suspended normal programmes on BBC One to provide rolling coverage of the Queen’s health, which was largely presented by a black tie-wearing Huw Edwards.
From around 4.30pm onwards media sources were aware that the Queen had died but all news publications waited for official confirmation before breaking the news.
Today red-top mastheads turned to blue or black as newspapers pulled out all the stops to fill massive print tribute editions, which appeared to be selling out fast in newsagents today.
Some 426 pages of today’s national newspapers are devoted to coverage of the Queen’s life and reaction to her death at the age of 96.
The last comparable news event was the death of Prince Philip on 9 April 2021. This prompted 540 pages of coverage over three days (Saturday to Monday).
How UK newspapers covered news of the Queen’s death
Free daily Metro produced one of the most eye-catching front pages, a poster portrait of a young Queen Elizabeth.
It dedicated all 44 pages of today’s edition to pictures and stories covering the Queen’s life.
The Sun had 38 pages of coverage and a 36-page souvenir edition.
The Times also opted for a wrap-around front page featuring a lavish colour photo of the Queen’s coronation and devoted 40 pages to the story.
Inside the cover wrap, The Times opted for a traditional front page featuring a more recent picture of the Queen issued by Buckingham Palace yesterday.
The same photo led The Daily Telegraph, which devoted a 28-page supplement and further 25 broadsheet pages to the story.
The Daily Express had 38 pages of royal coverage in its main edition with a 24-page supplement.
The Daily Mirror carried 40 pages of coverage and 24-page supplement with a subdued front-page headline simply saying: “Thank you”.
The Daily Star played it straight for once and was one of several titles to use the same brightly-coloured picture of the Queen on her coronation day. It carried 14 pages of coverage with a further 16-page supplement.
The same image was used to lead the i, which carried 32 pages on the story today.
The Guardian carried 20 pages of coverage, again opting for the same coronation image on the front page.
Even the Financial Times has cleared its front page of all other news today, instead carrying a picture of a smiling Queen Elizabeth taken at the state opening of Parliament in 1971 – with a further four broadsheet pages of coverage inside.
The Daily Mail also opted for a picture of a young Queen Elizabeth with a front-page colour piece by Sarah Vine headlined: “Our hearts are broken.” It devoted 86 pages to the story, more than any other title.
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