Some news organizations have hundreds of obituaries ready to publish

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On Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in London, the royal family announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died. Less than two hours later, the Guardian published a 7,000-word obituary.

That obituary was 10 years in the making.

“The Guardian ​​— I suspect like other newspapers as the queen grew pretty old — decided that they better have an obituary ready for the day when it actually came to pass,” said Stephen Bates, the freelance journalist who wrote the obituary. “It’s taken longer than I think we expected at that stage.”

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