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The death of Queen Elizabeth II is one that most newsrooms had braced themselves for. Regardless, the news that the Queen had died peacefully at Balmoral, at the age of 96, still brought the UK to a standstill.
A monarch who ascended to the throne at just 25 years old and would go on to live a remarkable life in full view of the world press, her death is world history and publications are marking the event with front pages that for some will become collectibles and historic archives.
Here’s how Britain’s longest-reigning monarch was honored on the front pages.
The Times, along with many other publications, went with nostalgia and opted to use photographer Cecil Beaton’s portrait of a young Elizabeth II on the day of her coronation in 1953.
For the back page, the paper included a quote from the Queen’s 1957 Christmas Day broadcast, the first to be televised, which would go on to become a British tradition.
“I cannot lead you into battle. I do not give you laws or administer justice but I can do something else. I can give you my heart and my devotion to these old islands, and to all the peoples of our brotherhood nations.”
The Daily Telegraph shared a black and white image of the Queen alongside one of her most famous quotes, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” The line was an excerpt from her message to grieving Americans following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Beaton’s portrait featured on the front of the i, which acknowledged the 10 days of mourning the nation had entered. The paper also used its front cover to acknowledge the major changes which had occurred over the space of 48 hours. The nation welcomed a new prime minister, Liz Truss, on Tuesday and a new King on Thursday.
The Daily Express selected a more mature photo of the Queen for its monochrome cover with the headline “our beloved queen is dead.” Along with the year of her birth and death, the paper added the line “world mourns the loss of a truly great and inspirational monarch.”
“You did your duty, Ma’am,” reads the front page of the Daily Star, which paid tribute to the monarch for her work ethic over her 70-year-reign. The tabloid turned its usually red masthead black and used the striking coronation photo for a full-page cover.
Commuter paper the Metro opted for a photo of a carefree, young Princess Elizabeth, wearing what is said to be her favorite and most-worn tiara, the Girls of Great Britain & Ireland Tiara.
The image was captured by Canadian Armenian photographer Yousuf Karsh and taken at Clarence House just six months before the death of her father, King George VI, and the beginning of her life as Queen.
The Guardian dedicated the entirety of its front page to the Beaton portrait of the Queen at her coronation, which took place in Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953. It was the first televised coronation of a British monarch and was estimated to have been watched by 27 million people.
The iconic image features the Queen dressed in full regalia, with the sovereign orb and scepter in hand.
The Daily Mirror’s cover featured the Queen’s famous profile, which appears on British stamps and coins all of which will be phased out and replaced with her son’s face, King Charles III, marking the end of the second Elizabethan era. The image was taken by the late Patrick Lichfield, a photographer and cousin of the Queen.
The paper chose to pay its respects to the late queen with words of gratitude, simply saying “thank you.”
Popular tabloid paper the Sun followed a black-and-white theme, which was broken up by turning its signature tabloid red masthead, purple.
“We loved you Ma’am,” said the paper, which opted for a portrait of the Queen in her older years. “The Sun and our readers loved you. We are proud you were our Queen.”
The wrap-around cover features lines from King Charles III’s tribute to his mother and a photograph of a young Elizabeth on the back.
The Daily Mail went with a richly colored Karsh portrait of a young Princess Elizabeth accompanied by words from columnist Sarah Vine, who wrote “as God Save the Queen played on the radio and TV, as we heard that our beloved monarch had died. a nation’s heart broke.”
The broadsheet was one of the few publications that featured a photograph of the Queen smiling and in a more candid position. The image was also taken by Lichfield.
In its editorial, the paper paid tribute to a life of duty and the change she preceded over through her 70-year reign.
“Her long reign encompassed the decolonization of much of Africa and Adia, as well as the consolidation of the Commonwealth, it also saw the emergence of the modern monarch, which became the subject of intense media scrutiny, and Britain’s evolution into a multicultural and more open society, less bound by tradition.”
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