UK observes nationwide minute of silence; World prepares to farewell Queen Elizabeth II; Joe Biden pays his respects to him; World leaders hosted by King Charles III; Prince Andrew's tribute to 'Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty' - petsitterbank

UK observes nationwide minute of silence; World prepares to farewell Queen Elizabeth II; Joe Biden pays his respects to him; World leaders hosted by King Charles III; Prince Andrew’s tribute to ‘Mummy, Mother, Your Majesty’

The BBC credits Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 as the “event that did more than any other to make television a mainstream medium.”

Fitting, then, that her funeral on Monday marks the end of TV’s dominance that started when she came to the throne.

Back then, the lack of TV sets in the mainstream meant that viewers gathered in friends’ living rooms, churches and other public spaces to watch the coronation, creating a shared broadcast experience and a shared sense of history.

Now, the divide between social media and television in the immediate wake of the queen’s death has highlighted the way new media are changing the culture. On social media, the queen was often discussed and, in many cases, denounced for Britain’s history of colonialism and her handling of royal scandals.

Television, meanwhile, largely stuck with a script of fond remembrance and celebration of her 70-year reign, especially within the first 24 hours. The social media narrative challenged and perhaps even altered the one initially featured on TV.

Yet, for all the revolutionary media disruption and fragmentation already engendered by the internet, television remains the main storyteller of national life in countries like the US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“Yes, the Queen’s coronation was the epochal moment that made the Brits realize that television was the essential furniture of modern life … and the glue for postwar British culture,” said Thomas Doherty, a media and cultural historian at Brandeis University.

Acknowledging massive changes in the media landscape between 1953 and today, although he added, “I do think the final send off and eulogies will have a huge audience—the drama, the pageantry, the ritual… a universal shared experience that TV thrives on.”

Predicting a huge TV audience for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral seems a safe bet, at least in the UK where the line to view her coffin in Westminster Hall was five miles long Friday morning with mourners temporarily being turned away.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.