“Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years, BCC, Sept. 8.”

Like most everyone throughout the British Commonwealth, across the U.S. and the rest of the world, I received this breaking news about the end of an unprecedented era with profound sadness and grief.

It was the first day of my life without Elizabeth II on the throne, as she was coronated in 1953 just six weeks before I was born. And America has adopted her as “our queen,” too.

Several hours later, a British friend texted me from London that the BBC had been reporting all afternoon about Her Majesty’s affection for Reverend Billy Graham.

It was true.

I had seen it first-hand because I had served as personal media spokesperson for Mr. Graham for nearly 34 years, including several occasions when he had been with the queen and preached to The Royal Family.

And it’s a fascinating story.