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09th Sep 2022

Huw Edwards had been rehearsing for Queen’s death ‘in front of his bathroom mirror’ for months

Steve Hopkins

BBC viewers earlier called for Edwards to be knighted

Huw Edwards is said to have practised announcing the Queen death’s in front his bathroom mirror, fellow journalist Alastair Campbell has claimed.

The suggestion was made Friday, a day after the BBC presenter was applauded for the way he delivered the news of Her Majesty’s passing on Thursday afternoon. Much was made of Edwards’ stamina in holding down a rolling broadcast from midday, and his respectful and professional tone. The performance was dubbed a “masterclass” and some viewers even called for him to be knighted.

The Queen passed away peacefully on Thursday afternoon in Balmoral. The news broke around 6.30pm, but the BBC ran rolling coverage of the story from midday after the palace announced around midday that the Queen was under “medical supervision” after doctors had become “concerned”.

Campbell tweeted on Friday that Edwards had told him a few months ago that he was preparing to make the announcement for months.

He said Edwards had told “me a few months ago he had been preparing, practising and even rehearsing in front of his bathroom mirror for the moment for some time”.

Campbell added that Edwards said that the Queen’s passing would be the BBC’s “biggest challenge in its history”.

He then went on to praise the presenter, saying “he did superbly”.

Edwards told BBC viewers: “It’s a seismic event, it’s 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.

“And as [BBC Royal correspondent] Nick [Witchell] was saying, 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.”

Edwards later told viewers during coverage of the Queen’s death: “Let’s dwell now on the impact on the people of the United Kingdom, for whom the Queen has been this symbol, not just of authority, but as a symbol of real solidity and consistency over the years.

“Taking that symbol away, albeit with a new monarch, King Charles III, who’s a very familiar figure, but taking that symbol away will have an effect on people’s lives, even those who are not dedicated monarchists.”

Edwards has not responded to praise surrounding his performance.

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