Huw Edwards says he learnt of Queen’s death ‘10 seconds’ before telling the nation

‘I was desperate not to make a terrible mistake,’ the veteran newsreader said

Laura Hampson
Tuesday 18 October 2022 10:12 BST
Huw Edwards praises David Beckham for not 'jumping the queue' to see Queen's coffin

At 6.31pm on 8 September this year, BBC News anchor Huw Edwards informed the UK that Queen Elizabeth II had died peacefully earlier that day.

Now, the veteran newsreader has revealed that he only learnt the news 10 seconds before the rest of the nation.

“The announcement came up on the wires and the gallery said: ‘The announcement is here. Take your time. Speak when you are ready. Don’t rush,’” Edwards told Radio Times.

The Queen’s death certificate later revealed that she had died at 3.10pm on 8 September, and the news was broken to the nation three hours later.

While some have praised Edwards and suggested he be knighted for the way he handled the broadcast, he has dismissed this idea.

“People who have spent a lifetime giving time to deserving causes... don’t get anything. So, although I don’t mean it disrespectfully, the idea of a knighthood embarrasses me,” he said.

Edwards had previously revealed that his panicking editors couldn’t reach him earlier on the day the Queen died, after Buckingham Palace had revealed Her Majesty was ill, as his phone had been stolen.

Speaking to TheSunday Times, Edwards explained that it was only when he got to a barber’s appointment at 1pm that he was relayed a message from his son that told him to “get to work immediately”.

Huw Edwards during the BBC coverage of the Queen’s death
Huw Edwards during the BBC coverage of the Queen’s death (BBC)

He added that he was “desperate not to make a terrible mistake” in the weeks of coverage that followed, adding: “My mum kept on messaging me saying, ‘You look exhausted, there are huge bags under your eyes.’”

Following the announcement of the Queen’s death, Edwards’ coverage on the BBC reflected on Her Majesty’s life.

At the time, he said: “The longest reigning monarch in British history, who has left us at the age of 96.

“And it’s not a surprise when someone of that age suffers ill health and eventually passes away, but what is left of course is the reflection on what was achieved and the kind of life that was led, and the sense of duty and a sense of loyalty.

“The sense of humility, which seems rather bizarre to say for a monarch, as someone who had a sense of service to others.

“And this was a theme that was repeated so often in the Queen’s statements and at great milestones in her life.”

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