Five Unexpected Things That Happened When Queen Elizabeth II Died

On Thursday afternoon Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, passed away peacefully aged 96, at Balmoral Castle, Scotland.

In response to a well-prepared and long-formulated plan, ‘Operation London Bridge,’ was put into effect by the British state.

Ten days of national mourning were declared in the UK, with the Queen’s body due to lie in state in Edinburgh then Westminster, where the public will be able to pay their respects.

A funeral is expected to take place within two weeks at Westminster Abbey, although the exact date is yet to be confirmed.

While all of this was very much expected, and in line with years of rigorous planning, some other events following the Queen’s death have taken observers by surprise.

Newsweek has selected five of the most notable.

Double Rainbow Over Buckingham Palace

A double rainbow was photographed outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday, after news of the sharp deterioration in the Queen’s health was first announced.
Samir Hussein/WireImage/GETTY

After news broke on Thursday that the Queen was under medical supervision a rare double rainbow appeared over Buckingham Palace in London, where it was photographed by well-wishers.

After the Queen’s death was confirmed, thousands made their way to Buckingham Palace to express their condolences, and mark the historic occasion.

Some wept in front of the iconic palace gates, while others laid flowers and messages in tribute.

There was singing of both ‘God Save the Queen’ and, in honor of Charles III, ‘God Save the King’.

Road and Rail Strikes Called Off

Britain had been in the midst of a wave of industrial strikes, with different groups of workers taking action in response to inflation and the cost of living crisis. However, after the Queen died planned strike action by rail and postal workers was cancelled.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, which represents transport workers, had been due to strike on September 15 and 17.

This was cancelled, with RMT Secretary General Mick Lynch saying: “RMT joins the whole nation in paying its respects to Queen Elizabeth. We express our deepest condolences to her family, friends and the country.”

A planned strike by Royal Mail workers was also canceled by The Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) union.

Cloud Resembling Queen Forms Over English Town

Just one hour after the Queen’s passing had been announced, Leanne Bethell, from Telford in the English west Midlands, took a photograph of a cloud resembling the late monarch and put it on Facebook with the caption “Driving home and Lacey starts shouting OMG! I panicked. Then she pointed this image out in the clouds.”

The post spread widely online, receiving 44,000 shares and 11,000 comments.

One Facebook user replied: “You only see it if you look for it. Maybe it is a sign or maybe we are just looking for a sign from above, who really knows.”

Nigerian Singer Posted Photo of Elizabeth II Tattoo

Nigerian singer Naira Marley posted a video on his official Instagram page showing an image of the Queen tattooed onto somebody’s hand.

During the video, Naira can be heard saying: “Rest in peace ma.”

The singer, who spent part of his career in the UK, has 6.9 million followers on the social media platform.

UK Advertising Boards Displayed Queen Tributes

Billboard tribute to Elizabeth II in Scotland
A billboard tribute to Queen Elizabeth II pictured on September 8 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Peter Summers/GETTY

Across Britain, advertising boards run by Ocean Outdoor, one of the country’s biggest advertising companies, stopped showing their usual commercial content and replaced them with tributes to The Queen.

Speaking to industry website Little Black Book, Phil Hall, joint managing director of Ocean Outdoor UK, said: “As soon as the sad news was announced yesterday, Ocean and indeed all the major UK OOH [out of home] operators, replaced digital commercial advertising with a commemorative still to show our respect to The Queen.

“Out of home is a public medium—we are integrated into the communities of the towns and cities of the UK and it is right that we use our reach to pay tribute to an extraordinary reign.”

Hall added the advertising will again be suspended for 24 hours, and replaced with commemorative messages, on the day of the Queen’s funeral.

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