The Queen’s death was announced on Twitter two minutes before the BBC.
—The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
The announcement of the Queen’s death first came from a tweet posted by the @RoyalFamily account, at least two minutes before the BBC’s own account published the news.
The tweet read, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” It was posted two hours after Prime Minister Liz Truss was notified of the Queen’s death, according to Bloomberg.
According to The Guardian, which in 2017 reported on “Operation London Bridge,” the plan in place for the Queen’s death, the announcement of her death would go out to “the Press Association and the rest of the world’s media simultaneously.”
The Press Association’s tweet about her death was posted at 6:31pm BST, one minute after the @RoyalFamily account, while the BBC’s tweet came at 6:32pm BST. The Guardian reported that, “For many years the BBC was told about royal deaths first, but its monopoly on broadcasting to the empire has gone now.”
The Queen’s father and last reigning monarch King George’s death was reported very differently in 1952. King George was found dead at 7:30am and was confirmed by the BBC at 10:45am, over three hours later.
News about his death only spread to other UK newspapers and broadcasters after the BBC’s announcement, according to The Guardian.
According to Bloomberg’s Alex Millson, “That Twitter was chosen as the initial vector for the news shows how much the family’s approach to communication has morphed, especially in the latter years of the Queen’s reign.”
The announcement tweet has received 2.4 million likes and over 700,000 retweets since it was posted.