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Queen Elizabeth II's Death Has Created Complete TV Chaos

Buckingham Palace announced on September 8 that Queen Elizabeth II has passed away. While millions continue to mourn the loss of the queen, professionals, organizations, and even fictional characters entrenched in the Commonwealth's culture have shared their condolences.

Shortly after the announcement, the Paddington Bear Twitter account shared a heartfelt tribute to the queen. Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the stewards of the James Bond franchise, also honored the late monarch by sharing photos of her meeting the various 007s throughout the years (via Twitter). It's impossible to deny the reign the queen has held over pop culture, both in the United Kingdom, her over 50 Commonwealth countries, and the world as a whole. The queen died at the age of 96 and all eyes were on television news when the announcement broke. 

Buckingham Palace has had a plan in place for the queen's death for several years. Dubbed "Operation London Bridge" (via Business Insider), the not-so-secret plans intricately highlighted the events and proceedings in place. However, as prepared in general as everyone might have been, when the moment arrived, it did cause chaos for TV networks around the world as they rushed to accommodate the announcement and its aftermath. 

TV channels are pivoting to Royal-focused news

At 7:34 AM EST on September 8, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Queen Elizabeth II's health was declining. This prompted news organizations around the world to pivot their daily programming. Per "Operation London Bridge," the BBC, Britain's state broadcaster, had its anchors change into black clothing hours before the official announcement of the queen's death (via GQ). The BBC, per the plan, was the first TV channel to be clued in on the queen's passing.

The international TV community shortly followed, shifting their plans and descending into total chaos. The Guardian's YouTube channel compiled clips of TV broadcasts from around the world announcing the Queen's death. A majority of the clips show the anchors confused and shocked as they announce the news, sometimes breaking from existing programming. Sandra Smith of Fox News was notably caught off guard with the announcement, saying: "The King has ... the Queen has passed away."

While speaking with Variety, Aline Pivot, head of news at TF1, France's most popular commercial channel, discussed how the Queen's death, like any major event, takes precedence over general programming. "We immediately sent correspondents to Balmoral [in the Scottish Highlands, where the Queen died]," the executive revealed. TF1 began its dedicated coverage after the Queen's health was put into question earlier in the morning.

France Televisions, the country's public broadcaster, like many, has begun rolling out programming that directly relates to the Royal family. Italian public broadcaster RAI also pivoted its Thursday programming to exclusively focus on the Queen. Sky Italia, meanwhile, is paying tribute to the monarch by broadcasting a slew of films focused on the queen, per Variety. Several international outlets, including TF1, have confirmed that programming for the next two weeks will reflect the interest in the Royal family. "We don't know when we'll revert to our usual programming," Pivot confirmed.