Londoners read of King George VI 's death
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Announcing the death of King George VI

On 6 February, 1952, King George VI died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham House. As the news of the King's death spread, all cinemas and theatres closed, and BBC programmes were cancelled except for news bulletins and essential shipping forecasts. Flags in every town were at half-mast, and sports fixtures were cancelled.

The BBC's John Snagge broke the news to radio listeners around the world.

First broadcast on 6 February, 1952

  • 31 Jan 2012
  • From the section UK