LONDON - Queen Elizabeth II made a show-stopping appearance live on the BBC news Friday as she officially opened the corporation’s new headquarters, pressing ahead with engagements as her husband Prince Philip awaited exploratory surgery.

At one point, the 87-year-old monarch appeared directly behind the television newsreaders who were live on screen as she toured the new wing of Broadcasting House in central London.

The sovereign walked through the packed newsroom directly behind live presenters Julian Worricker and Sophie Long.

They turned to see the head of state watching them and quickly acknowledged her as the guided tour came to a halt, with staff breaking into applause. “It is a great pleasure to visit the BBC today and to see it in its new home,” she said.

“I remember first coming to Broadcasting House with my father the king and my mother and sister, shortly before the war.

“I came again with the Duke of Edinburgh just before the coronation in 1953. I was struck then, as I am now, by the sheer pace of change which has transformed your industry over the past 60 years — years during which broadcasting has enriched our lives in so many ways.

“I hope this new building will serve you well for the future and I am delighted to declare it open.”

The applause from staff listening throughout the building could be heard.

Then, for the first time, the BBC aired a sound recording of her first visit to their studios in 1939.

Along with her parents king George VI and queen Elizabeth, and her sister princess Margaret, she was taken into a control room, played some sound effects and invited to experiment with recording technology.

The young princesses, who turned 13 and nine that year, could be heard chatting and giggling.

Earlier she watched Irish soft rock band The Script perform David Bowie’s “Heroes” live on Radio 1.

She had an extended chat with veteran BBC presenter David Dimbleby, whose father Richard commentated on her coronation, 60 years ago this week.