Why Today’s Jenna Bush Hager Says Queen Elizabeth II’s Death Was a “Surprise” to the Royal Family

After flying in for a scheduled interview with Queen Consort Camilla, Jenna Bush Chin‘s time in Scotland began as expected.

However, things would quickly take a tragic turn on Sept. 8 when Buckingham Palace announced that doctors were “concerned” for Queen Elizabeth II‘s health, which led her eldest son, King Charles III and his wife Camilla to rush to her side in Balmoral—with the 96-year-old passing away hours later.

Now, as Jenna shared, news of the Queen’s health may have come as a shock to the royals, considering her experience dining with Charles the night before. “I did get to have dinner with Prince Charles on the last night he would be prince,” she said during the September 12 episodes of Today. Referring to the Queen, she continued, “I think it was a surprise, I mean we had a wonderful evening, filled with conversation, it felt joyful.”

The Today correspondent also recalled setting up for their sit-down the next morning, when Camilla and Charles’ team informed her that their interview would have to be postponed after they received a call.

Queen Elizabeth II Celebrated Across the World as Mourners Pay Tribute

Amid getting the news, Jenna said she also heard a helicopter flying overhead, which she noted, was a move the royals would not “take lightly.”

“They said, ‘The Queen is ill, and they have gone and rushed off to be with her,'” Jenna continued. “And we just said, ‘Our hearts are with them.'”

After Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, Charles released a statement honoring the late British monarch.

“The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” the royal wrote in a Sept. 8 statement shared by Buckingham Palace. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”

(E! duck Today are part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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