News of the death of Queen Elizabeth II spread rapidly across German broadcasters this evening, with all the main channels ditching their scheduled programmes.
Das Erste – Germany’s first channel – dropped its scheduled programmes shortly after the announcement was made, with a tagesschau24 simulcast running up to the channel’s main 8pm news – Germany’s most watched bulletin – the Tagesschau. An hour-and-a-half of tributes and an obituary followed.
ZDF (second channel) dropped its evening drama at 7.35pm (6.35pm UK) to bring viewers a breaking news special. It cleared a late evening slot to screen its tribute to the life of the monarch.
Commercial channel RTL had already scheduled a news special at 8.15pm on the back of this lunchtime’s breaking news. The broadcaster had limited scope for extensions, due to live Europa League coverage.
Over on SAT. 1, four hours of coverage started at just before 8pm (7pm UK time), with the latest news followed by a rerun of the documentary The Queen at 90.
Most of Germany regional Dritte or third channels, devoted time to cover the events, with Berlin’s RBB remembering the Queen’s last visit to the city in 2015. During the regional news programmes at 9.45pm, the Queen’s long reign and various visits to the country over the years provided a local angle to the story across the various Dritte channels.
All news channels dropped their ongoing coverage of the energy crisis, changes to Germany’s Infections Protection Act and an interest rate rise in favour of the pictures of the evening from London and Balmoral. Tabloid news channel Bild took the opportunity to dust off old royal documentaries to supplement its coverage.
Meanwhile in Austria, public broadcaster ORF cleared ORF2’s schedules for an evening of special coverage and tributes. The news broke during its main 7.30pm Zeit Im Bild (ZIB) newscast. Coverage continued into the night.
PICTURED: Queen Elizabeth II. COPYRIGHT: Unknown.