From Christmas speeches to stamps, banknotes to royal visits. So used to seeing Queen Elizabeth II everywhere, there mustn’t be a soul in Britain that doesn’t know by outline alone. Now it appears many have seen her in the skies above too.
That’s right. A photograph taken hours after the Queen passed away appears to show an outline of Her Majesty in a queen-shaped cloud. Lit by sun, she appears to be donning her iconic hat too. Leanne Bethell posted the photograph in question to Facebook hours after the queen’s death. Her daughter pointed out the cloud while they were driving through the town of Telford near Birmingham.
“Driving home and Lacey starts shouting OMG! I panicked…” said Leanne on Facebook. “Then she pointed this image out in the clouds. The Queen.”
Thousands seem to agree too. The post has gone completely viral on Facebook since she posted it on the site at 7pm. Users have shared the post over 40,000 times and it has received tens of thousands of comments and reactions.
Of course, seeing shapes in clouds is a very common phenomenon. It is called pareidolia and, according to Merriam-Webster, is “the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.” So common is it that even Shakespeare makes reference to the phenomenon in his play Hamlet. The character Prince Hamlet points to the sky and says: “Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in the shape of a camel?”
But whether you see Queen Elizabeth II in the sky, or simply clouds, it remains an undeniable demonstration of her importance to the UK. The Queen took to the throne, succeeding her father King George IV, on February 6, 1952. She became the longest reigning monarch, having lived through WWII, reigned during the terms of 15 Prime Ministers, and was on the throne during the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier this year, the UK celebrated her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne.