‘Our hearts are broken’: how the world and UK papers reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth

Striking portraits of the queen dominate front pages

The death of Queen Elizabeth has led front-page coverage in newspapers around the world.

The New York Times opted for a sombre black-and-white portrait of Queen Elizabeth, with the headline “Queen And Spirit of Britain”. The publication noted the queen’s seven-decade reign linked generations, and that her death thrust “a bereaved country into a momentous transition at a time of political and economic upheaval”.

Time magazine published a commemorative front page, noting in its online coverage that “the world changed while Elizabeth was Queen in profound ways, but many saw her as a steadfast rock of patriotic duty”.

The New Yorker released an early image of its upcoming front page, noting “on the cover of the September 19th issue, the artist Malika Favre, who lived in London for sixteen years, captures the indelible association between Britain and its longtime monarch”.


Pictures of the Queen filled the front pages of the UK’s daily newspapers.

The Sun swapped its usual red top for regal purple and the headline “We loved you Ma’am.” It says her passing marks “an end to her historic reign” and has sparked an “outpouring of grief”. It also asks if the day of the funeral might be declared a bank holiday.

The Mirror’s front page carries the simple message “Thank you” as the “nation begins to come to terms with the loss of the 96-year-old monarch”. It also reports that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children are now entitled to HRH titles, citing rules set out by King George V in 1917.

The Express splashes with “Our beloved Queen is dead”, and describes how Britons flooded the streets “united in grief”, and “weeping crowds” sang the national anthem outside Buckingham Palace.

The Daily Mail publishes a “historic special edition” under the headline: “Our hearts are broken”. It says that unlike some of her predecessors, the queen’s reign will defy categorisation as an “age”, because her time on the throne “simply spanned too much”.

The Metro and the i also carry full-page tributes, the latter noting that King Charles III is set to address the nation on Friday.

The Times obituary reflects on the queen’s life that spanned “an era of vast social, material and technological change”, asking “who would have believed the Queen we once knew would have agreed to take part in a stunt with James Bond for the opening of the London 2012 Olympics?” Above all, the paper says “she was the woman who saved the monarchy in this country”. Its political sketch describes how the “political din” of the Commons fell quiet, as a note alerted MPs to the monarch’s failing health: “suddenly nothing else much mattered”.

The Guardian’s front page pictures the queen at her coronation, noting she is the oldest sovereign in the country’s history but also its longest serving. It describes the queen as “woven into the cloth of our lives so completely” in a reign that encompassed a period that saw some of the greatest changes of any era.

But it says it is hard to see her name being bestowed, as her predecessor Queen Victoria’s was, as “the defining symbol of an age”. Instead, the Guardian says “she played, largely impeccably, the part of a modern constitutional monarch, a symbolic figurehead with a right to be consulted and to advise and warn political leaders privately and to show herself publicly as a focus of national life, celebration and commemoration”.

The Telegraph carries the headline “Grief is the price we pay for love”. Inside it describes the Queen as a “calm presence” who was “steadfast” and “self-effacing”. It casts forward to King Charles’s reign, noting the new monarch has “vowed to avoid ‘meddling’ in politics, but is unlikely to stop fighting for the causes he has championed for decades”. It adds that no one who knows Charles expects him to reign in the same way as his mother.

The Financial Times describes the “grace, humanity and fortitude of Elizabeth”, reflecting on a life of “extraordinary service”. The paper says her stoic weathering of familial misfortunes made her, for the public, a human and relatable figure, adding that the “affection in which she was held reflected, above all, a sense of duty that seemed innate”.

In Scotland, the Herald quotes Nicola Sturgeon saying the queen’s death marks the “end of an era”, and publishes a 32-page commemorative tribute. The Scotsman opts for a black front page with an image of the young Queen, with the same sentiment.

The Belfast Telegraph splashes with “Thank you Ma’am” and the news of Northern Ireland’s politicians united “in tribute to woman “who led by example’ during peace process”. It quotes Sinn Féin vice-president Michelle O’Neill saying she learned with “deep regret” of the passing of a woman who had “led by example” during the peace process.

— Guardian