Ben Shephard reveals Good Morning Britain presenters had been preparing to announce Queens death for years

ITV's Good Morning Britain has aired this morning with a special programme dedicated to The Queen, who passed away last week aged 96.

During this morning's programme (September 12), TV presenter Ben Shephard talked about the moment news teams across the world had to break the sad story of Her Majesty's death and revealed that, at Good Morning Britain, he and his co-stars had been preparing to announce the news for years.

The ITV broadcaster made the admission as he appeared alongside his co-host Susanna Reid, both dressed in black as they presented a special edition of the ITV breakfast show.

Ben admitted that he and his co-stars had been planning for several years what the protocol would be following the monarch's eventual passing.

During an interview with TV journalist Andrew Marr, who was presenting live on the radio when the news broke last week, Ben explained the protocol behind the show for the Queen's passing – in case it happened whilst they were live on air.

He said of Andrew's Marr's programme: "It's gripping to listen to because of course you're doing what great broadcasters do and you're talking about something that you can feel is coming but you don't know when it's going to happen."

He added: "And obviously, the news comes through whilst you're live, whilst you're talking. And then you have to interrupt yourself."

He then went on to reveal a similar protocol was followed at ITV saying: "All of us here at various times over the last 10/15 years have prepared for this, have rehearsed for this. We'll plan what's going to happen; there's a protocol about it all. But the reality of that moment for all of us has struck really hard."

Andrew agreed: "We all knew it was going to happen. Of course it wasn't a surprise, she was 96; we're all human and all that. And yet it wasn't a surprise, but it was a shock."

He continued: "And that I think is because we've lived all our lives with the Queen as part of the backdrop. She's always been there. It's like part of the landscape has suddenly been removed."

Protocol is being observed in all areas at the moment. Over the weekend, as Prince Harry and Prince William put on a united front as they walked outside the gates of Windsor Castle, Harry and Meghan, walked hand-in-hand as Harry sweetly reminded his wife that his brother – now first in line for the throne – and his wife Kate should walk ahead of them.

The Prince discreetly slowed his steps and gently pulled Meghan’s hand back to make way for Kate and William to view the flowers first.

The Queen's funeral is set to take place on Monday, September 19 as King Charles III confirmed that the day will be a bank holiday as he was proclaimed King in a historic event.

This week, OK! celebrates the life of Her Majesty the Queen with a commemorative special in honour of Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Be sure to pick up your copy.

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