A double rainbow emerged from the clouds above Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday, just hours before the announcement that Queen Elizabeth II had died. Amid growing concerns about Queen Elizabeth's health on Sept. 8, crowds gathered outside the royal residence in London noticed a double rainbow in the sky. Before and after news of her death broke, many tweeted photos and videos of the rainbow. Social media videos showed that people standing with their backs to the palace could see the double rainbow. As people awaited news regarding the queen, they huddled beneath umbrellas throughout the rainy afternoon.
Images taken outside the palace appear to show some onlookers taking photos of the rainbows while others stand and watch. Chris Jackson, Getty's Royal photographer, noted that the rainbow was briefly visible while Windsor Castle's flag was lowered to half mast.
Rainbow at Buckingham Palace. pic.twitter.com/qHNJMcj5UH— Andy Lines (@andylines) September 8, 2022
Approximately an hour after the rainbow appeared, the Royal Family announced the death of the longest-serving monarch in British history, saying, "The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon." In a statement earlier on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said that "the Queen's doctors are concerned for Her Majesty's health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral."
Queen Elizabeth's passing ushered in a period of public mourning across the United Kingdom, where she reigned for a record 70 years. King Charles III, and his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort, had traveled to Balmoral to be with the monarch. The King was in Scotland Wednesday for official duties. The Queen's only daughter, Princess Anne, was also in the country earlier this week conducting royal duties. In addition, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, were photographed at Aberdeen Airport in Scotland Thursday, where they were en route to Balmoral.
According to reports, Prince William's wife Kate Middleton stayed at Windsor with their three children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, on Thursday as they started school. Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth's grandson, also changed his plans to be in Scotland with her. He was previously, scheduled to attend the WellChild Awards in London Thursday with wife Meghan Markle. The queen's last public appearance was on Tuesday when she appointed Liz Truss as prime minister at Balmoral, a first in British history. Reportedly, the decision was made to host the audience at Balmoral to ensure scheduling consistency for the monarch, whose mobility was declining.