BBC peaks at 9.8 million viewers for tributes to Queen Elizabeth II
Millions of people tuned in nationwide as Huw Edwards delivered the news that the Queen had passed away.
It has been confirmed that nearly 10 million people watched the BBC News Special reporting the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II yesterday (Thursday 8th September 2022).
Viewership on BBC One peaked at 9.83 million at 6:30pm, when Her Majesty's death was announced live on air by newsreader Huw Edwards.
It had been the first time that the UK saw the passing of a monarch since 1952, when Queen Elizabeth's father King George VI died, leading her to take the throne.
She was the UK's longest-serving monarch, having been on the throne for 70 years. Her Platinum Jubilee was marked earlier this year, with special programming and events held throughout the country.
Since the Queen's passing, the UK has entered a period of national mourning, which will last until after her state funeral has been held.
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As soon as the news was announced that the Queen had died aged 96 at Balmoral, tributes poured in from around the globe, from heads of state, politicians, the entertainment industry and members of the public.
Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by Her Majesty at Balmoral earlier this week, made a statement outside 10 Downing Street, in which she said: "Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her."
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition Keir Starmer said that she "stood not for what the nation fought over, but what it agreed upon", calling her dedication to this "the still point of our turning world".
From the world of entertainment figures such as Stephen Fry, David Beckham, Sir Elton John and Tim Peake all paid tribute to the Queen, with actor Sanjeev Bhaskar adding that the Queen was "always warm, gracious and humorous" and led a "life of extraordinary public service".
BBC sports presenter Gary Lineker also said that it was "such a terribly sad day" and that the Queen was "a truly remarkable woman who served her country with dignity, loyalty and grace. A comforting ever present in the lives of most of us".
Since the news was announced, broadcasters including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 have confirmed changes to their scheduled programming, with news specials and documentary tributes to Her Majesty airing in place.