Following up on their exceptional work in the days immediately after Queen Elizabeth II’s death, AP staffers in the U.K. and beyond continued their record-breaking coverage in the week leading up to the queen’s funeral, delivering outstanding all-formats journalism and giving clients an array of offerings from virtually every event and every perspective.
As the queen lay in state for several days, AP’s stories and visuals captured the pomp and ceremony, and the emotions of mourners lined up for many for hours to pay their respects. Among those in the queue was Iraq correspondent Samya Kullab, who wrote a distinctive first-person account of the experience. London editor and correspondent Sylvia Hui wrote about the enduring rituals around royals lying in state, and reporter Jill Lawless looked at the security challenges surrounding the funeral of the only monarch most Britons have ever known. Colleague Danica Kirka examined how the queen set the stage for the transition to Charles in her final years, as well as Britain’s disappearing WWII generation. She also produced an evocative first-person account from inside Westminster Abbey during Monday’s funeral.
The funeral coverage saw stunning usage of AP’s content. Live video set a record — a spike in customer usage that exceeded the 2020 U.S. election, the inauguration of President Joe Biden and the start of the war in Ukraine.
Among other visual highlights spanning 12 days of coverage:
— 120 live video events, used more than 65,000 times by broadcasters.
— 705 edited video pieces, used more than 95,000 times by broadcasters.
— More than 8,300 photos on the AP wire — some 2,500 on the day of the funeral alone.
The sprawling coverage drew on writers, photographers, video journalists, editors and others across formats, across departments and across the world. For photos alone, AP used 20 photo editors, some in London, others remote — in Europe, India, Australia, New York — to handle the deluge of images coming from AP photographers and the photo pool.
AP’s collective round-the-clock effort won near-unanimous praise from customers for the team’s multiformat content, as well as planning, communication and flexibility.
- USA Today: “Good morning AP, Thank you again for everything these last two weeks with queen coverage!”
- Bell Media (Canada): “It’s all been very well done. We really appreciate everything your team has done.”
- France Television: “First of all thank you for the smooth LIVE feeds on the queen’s funeral yesterday and the updates on restrictions.”
- La Presse (Italy): “We appreciate all your help you are giving us in these hours.”
- Network 18 (India): “We appreciate all the guidance we got from you guys on the queen/king coverage — it was extremely helpful for planning! Must add, the coverage and the work put by each one of you was simply outstanding.“
- PBS NewsHour (U.S.): “I just wanted to thank the team at AP … for an amazing job. Lots of moving parts and logistics for the queen’s funeral and you all handled so well. thanks again!”
Appreciation ran deep within the AP as well:
“Stories like what you just witnessed are best told in sweeping visuals. What you captured, edited, and distributed including both the big moments and the little intimate ones will stand the test of time and fill the history books for decades.”
— J. David Ake, assistant managing editor and director of photography
“Such a great team effort. … Since the day this story broke our coverage has been excellent. Everyone has gone that extra mile in dropping everything to rush to London or working those extra hours and days when the images seemed to be never-ending. … We produced an outstanding and creative report that delivered at all levels and for all our clients.”
— Tony Hicks, deputy director, international photos
“I want to sincerely thank you for your dedication, speed and remarkable work in marking the death of Queen Elizabeth II. It’s been a marathon of a story, with exceptional visuals and outstanding explanatory work.
“Each of you on this team has, with persistence and commitment, not only helped our customers explain this story but also informed the world of its magnitude. You are The Associated Press at its very best, coming together from across our organization to deliver incredible journalism.”
— Daisy Veerasingham, AP president and CEO