BBC newsreader is left close to tears as ITV, Sky and other broadcasters interrupt schedules, play the national anthem and journalists switch to black outfits to break news that Prince Philip has died
- BBC One paused Paramedics on Scene and faded to black before announcement
- Martine Croxall appeared to choke up with emotion reading Palace statement
- Viewers noticed she quickly changed into a black cardigan as a mark of respect
A newsreader was left close to tears announcing the death of Prince Philip this afternoon as the BBC, along with rivals ITV and Sky, interrupted their broadcast schedules to break the news.
The National Anthem accompanied the announcement from Buckingham Palace, while journalists across TV networks switched to black outfits as a mark of respect.
At 12.09pm on BBC One, an episode of Paramedics on Scene was abruptly paused as the screen faded to black, before being replaced by silence and a screen reading ‘News Report’.
Presenter Martine Croxall then told viewers: ‘We are interrupting our normal programmes to bring you an important announcement.’
The newsreader appeared to choke up with emotion as she began reading the official statement from the Palace and the scores of tributes that flooded in subsequently.
Eagle-eyed viewers noticed Ms Croxall donned a black cardigan for the announcement, which she had not been wearing on the BBC’s rolling news channel just minutes earlier.
She also removed a piece of jewellery she was previously wearing around her neck.
The corporation’s Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell was also wearing a black suit and tie as he appeared in the studio, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson also in the same colour as he made a statement outside Downing Street.
The special programme was broadcast across both BBC One and BBC Two, while ITV cut short This Morning and cancelled an episode of Loose Women at 12.30pm.
Channel Four and Channel 5 also halted their planned run of lunchtime programmes to announce the news.
Sky News, like many others, broadcast a special programme following Prince Philip’s death
Martine Coxall was wearing a top and a lengthy piece of jewellery around her neck on the BBC’s rolling news channel minutes before the announcement
Viewers noticed Ms Coxall then removed the jewellery and donned a black cardigan to announce the Duke’s death
ITV news’ presenter was also dressed in black as she interrupted the channel’s regular schedule to break the news
Sky News’ presenter was also dressed in black as she interrupted the channel’s regular schedule to break the news
The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with his wife after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.
Her Majesty announced her husband’s death at midday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace and on public buildings across the UK and Commonwealth.
As with all royal births, marriages and deaths, a notice announcing Philip’s passing was displayed outside the palace while mourners are already laying flowers at Windsor Castle, where he is expected to be buried in Frogmore Gardens.
The Royal Family said in a statement: ‘It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
‘His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss’.
A frail Philip was last seen leaving hospital on March 16 and his death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip’s lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens. The couple shared their 73rd wedding anniversary last November and he was due to turn 100 on June 10 this year.
Boris Johnson led the tributes and addressed the nation outside No 10 Downing Street shortly after the announcement. He said: ‘We give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’.
He added: ‘Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary, Her Majesty said that our country owed her husband ‘a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know’ and I am sure that estimate is correct So we mourn today with Her Majesty The Queen.
‘We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen. Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her ‘strength and stay’, of more than 70 years.
‘And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today. Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.’ Mr Johnson also praised his Duke of Edinburgh scheme, which has ‘shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people’.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: ‘As we recover and rebuild after the terrible trial of the coronavirus pandemic, we will need fortitude and a deep sense of commitment to serving others. Throughout his life Prince Philip displayed those qualities in abundance, and I pray that we can take inspiration from his example’.
Her Majesty is now expected to enter an eight-day period of mourning. She will not carry out any duties, even in private, while laws will not be given the Royal Assent and affairs of state will also be paused. A further period of official Royal Mourning is expected to continue for 30 days.
Officials at Buckingham Palace are now preparing for a royal ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle in Berkshire in keeping with Philip’s wishes, with a military procession also expected in London – Covid laws permitting.
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