Modern mourning for a modern monarch

STORY: From selfies to social media posts, the death of this monarch is being mourned in a modern way.

Confirmation that Queen Elizabeth had passed away on Thursday (September 8) came in a Twitter post – eclipsing the traditional notice later pinned to palace gates.

Mourners have turned to technology and their phones to pay tribute to Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

As with her father King George VI’s death, floral tributes were left outside her official residences.

But in addition to candles, mourners lit up their phones.

Portraits of Elizabeth were posted on billboard screens in central London's Piccadilly Circus and the city's Canary Wharf financial district.

Little surprise perhaps for a queen who embraced the modern age across her seven decades of service.

Her sense of fun saw her taking part in TV skits for the London Olympic Games in 2012, and then a decade later for her Platinum Jubilee.

New Prime Minister Liz Truss on Friday paid tribute to her power of reinvention.

“She reinvented the monarchy. She was a champion of freedom and democracy around the world. She was dignified but not distant. She was willing to have fun, whether on a mission with 007 or having tea with Paddington Bear. She brought the monarchy into people’s lives and into people’s homes.”

Britain and the monarchy have undergone dramatic change since 1952 when Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne.

Particularly so in the last 20 years, with the backing of a professional and sophisticated media operation.

There was still the pomp and the pageantry, but also less formality around her and her family.

If the scenes at Buckingham Palace on Friday are anything to go by, it's a formula her son and successor, King Charles will follow.

He was greeted by a throng of well-wishers, and spent a full ten minutes shaking hands and sharing the moment.

Queen Elizabeth won praise for guiding the monarchy into the 21st Century amid often turbulent times and challenges about its legitimacy.

King Charles has the difficult task of ensuring her legacy and securing the institution's future.