Monday’s episode of EastEnders opened with a touching tribute to the Queen in which her death was likened to the entire country “losing its nan”.
In a short scene before the opening credits, characters Linda Carter, Denise Fox and Kathy Beale gathered around a picture of the monarch in the famous Old Vic pub, to discuss her “selfless” life of service.
The trio discussed milestones including the Queen’s coronation in 1953 and her silver and platinum jubilees, the latter of which was described as “a classy way to say goodbye”.
As Linda, played by Kellie Bright, adjusts a picture of the Queen, Denise (Diane Parish) says: “God bless her, she’s been there our whole lives. It’s like she’s everything we’ve ever known.”
Kathy, played by Gillian Taylforth, replies: “Just feels so personal though, doesn’t it? Just devastating.”
“It’s like we’ve lost our nan,” Diane says.
“Well, we have. I mean the country’s lost… we’ve all lost our nan. She dedicated her entire life to serving us,” Linda replies.
“Selfless,” Kathy responds.
Denise continues: “We’ll never see anyone like her again.”
Recalling key moments of the Queen’s seven-decade reign, Kathy says: “I was, what, three when she became Queen.
“I wish I could remember the coronation but, well, I’ve got other people’s memories.”
Diane adds: “Do you remember the Silver Jubilee? I think I was eight or nine.
“I just remember I was so happy. I just remember everyone feeling so happy.”
Kathy responds: “Well that’s what she did, didn’t she, she made you feel so joyful and safe.”
A special episode marking the Platinum Jubilee earlier this year featured appearances from the King and Queen Consort.
Recalling the occasion in Monday’s episode, Linda says of the Queen: “Thank goodness she made it to the Platinum Jubilee this year.
“I mean what a classy way to say goodbye.”
Kathy adds: “And what a day we had here, eh? We had Camilla and Prince Charles right here with us
“King Charles III,” Denise corrects her.
Together, the trio declare “long live the King”, before Linda continues: “We’ve got Kat and Phil’s wedding in here today and the show must go on.
“But first I’m nipping up Buckingham Palace to pay my respects.”
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“I think I’ll come with you,” Denise adds.
The scene ends with Linda placing the Queen’s picture in front of a bust of Queen Victoria, saying: “Thank you ma’am, from all of us.”
“Look after her, won’t you?” she adds, addressing the bust.
The camera zooms in and lingers on the photo before the famous opening credits roll.
EastEnders announced that episodes of the long-running show will be available at 7.30pm on BBC iPlayer, as scheduling changes continue to be made around coverage of the Queen’s death.