The royal beekeeper has informed the bees that live at Buckingham Palace that HM Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.
Although that may sound fictitious, it’s actually a ritual based on a historic tradition.
Telling the bees, as it’s often known, is a tradition in many European countries where hives of bees are told of important events in their keeper’s lives – such as births, marriages, departures and returns in the household, and of course, deaths.
If the custom is not practiced or forgotten, and the bees were not “put into mourning”, then back in the mid-19th century when the tradition is believed to have originated, it was believed that a penalty would be paid.
This could mean the bees leave their hive, which would stop the production of honey or dying.
So, following HM Queen Elizabeth II’s death at aged 96, and with several royal households home to tens of thousands off bees, John Chapple – who is the official royal beekeeper, and has been so for the past 15 years – told the Daily Mail that he travelled to the Buckingham Palace and Clarence House on Friday (9 September) to carry out the formality.
Buckingham Palace is home to five beehives, and Clarence House is home to two – with each hive containing an estimated 20,000 bees each.
Chapple also told the bees that a new master would be in charge – King Charles III.
Giving a little more insight into the decades-old tradition, Chapple explained: “It is traditional when someone dies that you go to the hives and say a little prayer and put a black ribbon on the hive.
“I drape the hives with black ribbon with a bow.
“The person who has died is the master or mistress of the hives, someone important in the family who dies and you don’t get any more important than the Queen, do you? You knock on each hive and say, ‘the mistress is dead’.”
Chapple explained that he visited the hives at Clarence House first to inform them, before heading to tell the bees living at Buckingham Palace.
Chapple said it had been a “wonderful privilege” to care for the bees under the Queen’s reign, and he hopes to continue in his role as King Charles III ascends to the throne.
“I hope they still want to keep the bees on their premises,” Chapple concluded.
HM Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 on 8 September 2022.
During her reign, Elizabeth II served as Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth – undertaking an important symbolic and unifying role as a head of state, spanning numerous geographical regions, cultures, and religions.
She was not just the longest-reigning British monarch in history, but she was also the first-ever monarch to reign in the UK for 70 years.
She was beloved by many for her sense of duty and devotion to her role.
Horror film due to be released in the UK this week is so scary it’s triggered Apple Watch high heart rate alerts
A film that’s been labelled a ‘horror nightmare’ is set to make its big screen premiere in the UK this week.
The Outwaters has been disturbing audiences across the USA with its ‘found footage’ format, which follows four travellers as they encounter a menacing phenomena while camping in a remote stretch of the Mojave Desert.
Cinema-goers have reported extreme reactions, like having to leave screenings to vomit and also smart watch heart rate monitors showing alerts.
One scary movie fan said it ‘more effectively scares me than anything I’ve ever seen’.
Another labelled it ‘Goddamn terrifying stuff’.
One person said: “I’m still processing #TheOutwaters. I am not sure if it worked for me. The sounding made me so uncomfortably dizzy that I had to leave the theatre to vomit. This never happened to me before. It’s more disturbing than scary if that makes any sense.”
Another said: “@TheOutwaters has solidified my opinion that I believe this to have one of the most horrific and traumatizing sequences i’ve ever experienced in a found footage horror film.”
One review reads: “the outwaters is possibly the most upsetting movie i’ve ever watched. and i mean that as a compliment.”
One more said: “The Outwaters may be my new favorite horror movie, highly recommend if you’re into weird f*cked up shit.”
Someone else posted: “Watched The Outwaters the other day and immediately fell in love – it’s the kind of mind-bending indie horror nightmare I’m constantly looking for, just unfiltered awesome creativity firing on all cylinders. Major props to everyone in front of and behind the camera, I loved it!”
And one person described it as a ‘surreal blood soaked mindf*ck through hell’.
Now, The Outwaters Twitter account has confirmed that the film will be streaming in UK cinemas from 7 April.
Screenings may be few and far between to start with, but horror fans, this looks to be one well worth seeking out.
Chris Pine is an American actor best known for his roles as Jamie T. Kirk in Star Trek, Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman and Lord Devereaux in The Princess Diaries 2.
Appearing on Capital FM’s breakfast show this morning with Roman Kemp, Sian Welby and Chris Stark, Pine reminisced on his days studying in Yorkshire.
Kemp kicked off the show with “It’s Capital Breakfast and this morning we are joined by probably the only Hollywood A-lister to attend Leeds university.”
“I don’t know, you’ll have to check the alumni book but I’m pretty sure that’s probably accurate” the actor admitted.
Pine explains that he studied in Leeds for one year as an exchange student, when he was just 19 years old.
Chris Stark quickly jumped in to ask Chris about the iconic Leeds student pub crawl, The Otley Run, and whether or not he’d done it as a young undergraduate.
“I don’t remember much of it but yes I have done it.”
“Do you remember what you wore?” Stark responds.
“No I don’t, I remember…nothing.”
He admits that although the crawl consists of 18 bars, he himself has never made it to each one.
He continues to explain that although he now lives in sunny California and has done for most of his life, he in fact lived in the UK for a total of four years between the ages of 29 and 40.
“There’s so much Hollywood work over here but I have yet to go back to Leeds.
“I have all these memories. I lived on Brudenell road and I can see the market across the street and I know the walk to school and the great old cinema on the corner of Brudenell and Hyde Park. I just have these images of school there.”
So next time you’re wondering down Brudenell Road or catching a flick at Hyde Park Picture House, just know that those hallowed halls were once home to Hollywood royalty.
And who knows, Pine might be hopping on a plane to Leeds Bradford airport after being reminded of such happier times – so make sure to keep an eye out.