Where were you when Elvis died? asked Lester Bangs’s famous obituary in August 1977.
It would have easy to pinpoint: a single, lone announcement, heard on the radio, watched on TV, or read in the paper on a coffee break. Perhaps that’s why everyone seems to remember it.
Where were you when you heard of the Queen’s passing? Is a less interesting question.
We inhale our news in such a different way now.
We have non-stop broadcasts that follow us around all day, enveloping us in a never-ending swirl of images, headlines, tweets, interviews, posts and WhatsApp messages as we go about our daily business.
There’s no beginning, middle or end; everything is on an endless loop.
It can feel like a bit of a deluge.
Because top of 24-hour news and social media commentary, rolled the official announcements and formal proclamations of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing as if the digital age had never happened.
There was Huw Edwards’ solemn announcement, which sounded like something from the 50s: "This is the BBC from London…".
There was the lady in a fetching Alice band who told those gathered at the Accession Council at St James’s Palace three days after the world knew, that the Queen had passed away.
What was even more disorientating were the programmes and documentaries that quickly followed. Already speaking of her in the past tense, but prepared years in advance (judging by Princess Anne’s hair colour) they seemed both of the moment, and hopelessly out of date.
That there really is something for everyone – you can have notifications of breaking news fired almost directly into your brain, you can wait for the BBC news at 6pm, or you can live like a true medieval and receive the news via bugle and the Herald of Arms in your nearest town three days later.
We’ll never have that momentous gathering round the TV set to receive the latest bulletin (or to watch Bobby come back from the dead via the shower scene in Dallas) but instead we can choose what we get told about, when, by who.
Although if you’re reaching pageantry overload (the BBC already being described as Mourn Hub) now might be a good time to choose who you really want to hear from – and what it is about that form of news that you like. You can then emulate that style in your own broadcasts to the nation.
Each King or Queen faces in the opposite direction to the one before on our coins. The Queen faced right on his coins so King Charles III will face left.
An old tweet actually, but a pleasing collection of pictures of royal dogs being carried on and off planes.
Guinea Pig Awareness Week has been postponed as a mark of respect, but a new date of 26 September has recently been announced.