Mercury Prize postponed following news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death

·1-min read

The Mercury Prize has been postponed after news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death broke.

Audience members were in their seats waiting for the annual ceremony to begin when Buckingham Palace announced the Queen had died peacefully at Balmoral, aged 96.

Organisers told the crowd assembled at London’s Eventim Apollo they had decided to call off the ceremony “in light of the sad news”.

The event was scheduled to begin an hour after the news was announced. Earlier in the day, organisers cancelled the planned red carpet.

Messages displayed on the screen read: “In light of the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen. we are sorry to announce that we will not be proceeding with this evening's event as planned.

“Mercury Prize will be communicating with guests and audience members over the coming days. We thank you for your understanding at this difficult and sad time.

It continued; “Dinner will not be served, we would be grateful if you could finish you drinks and we will be closing the venue at 7.30. We thank you again for your understanding.”

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.’’

Sam Fender, Little Simz and Harry Styles are among this year’s nominees. There is currently no word on when the event will take place.