Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96

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Queen Elizabeth II with her famous smile | Vogue

      On September 8, 2022, the world was shocked. The queen of England, Elizabeth II, passed away at Balmoral Castle. Aged ninety-six, England celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in 2022. As people across the globe grieve the loss of a great monarch, let us look back on the life Queen Elizabeth II lived. 

Early Life and Family:

Queen Elizabeth and her family in 1972 (Desmond Groves)

Born on April 21, 1926, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor of York was the daughter of Prince Albert, the Duke of York, and Elizabeth, the Duchess of York. She would later have a younger sister, Princess Margaret. Queen Elizabeth II spent most of her time as a child in London. She was trained by scholars in matters of the government and by the Archbishop of Canterbury in religion. When Queen Elizabeth was twenty-one years old, she married Phillip Mountbatten, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away in 2021 after seventy years of marriage to the queen. He was an exiled prince of Greece and had been born into both Greek and Danish royal descent. He would later become a prince. The queen and Prince Phillip had four children, Prince Charles of Wales, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex. In total, the queen had eight grandchildren, most notably Prince William, now the Duke of Wales but previously the Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex. The queen also has twelve great-grandchildren. 

 

Coronation and Reign:

Elizabeth Windsor was never meant to be the queen of England. Her uncle, King Edward VIII, was first in the line of succession. The king abdicated in December 1936, the same year he was crowned. This single action placed the heavy weight of the British crown on Windsor’s father, who became King George VI, which meant that Elizabeth Windsor was first in the line of succession. 

Crowned Queen Elizabeth Regina II on June 2, 1953, the queen officially took the throne fourteen months after her father’s death. Her majesty had the first royal coronation televised on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). At the time, Queen Elizabeth was twenty-five years old. Her husband was crowned Phillip, Prince Consort. Spouses of queens in British history have never received the title King Consort. 

Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Phillip, on coronation day in 1953 (wikipedia.org)

Queen Elizabeth II reigned for seventy years, seven months, and two days. Her reign saw a shift in England. Queen Elizabeth had to deal with the long-term effects of World War II, specifically the economic difficulties. The 1960s and ’70s were very challenging for the queen. There were many scandals and tragedies during this time, including the Aberfan disaster of 1966 and the death of Princess Diana of Wales. Also, the loyalty of the British people to the monarchy wavered during this period. A revolutionary documentary was filmed by the BBC at Buckingham Palace in 1969 titled “Royal Family.” The film aimed to show the general public that the royal family was similar to any regular British family. Fifteen prime ministers took office while Queen Elizabeth II was on the throne. The first few of these prime ministers abdicated. 

 

Death:  

Queen Elizabeth II’s health issues arose in October of 2021.  Her Majesty got the COVID-19 virus back in February of this year. Two days before her passing, the queen had been under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle, one of Queen Elizabeth’s other main residencies. The Royal Family announced on September 8, 2022, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.” 

Queen Elizabeth II’s last photograph was on September 6, 2022. The queen met the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, for the first and last time. (independent.co.uk)

 

Aftermath:

What will happen to the monarchy now that the Queen has passed away? Her son, Charles, ascended to the British throne upon Queen Elizabeth II’s death. His royal name is King Charles III. His wife, Camilla, is now the Queen Consort of the United Kingdom. His Majesty is the ruler of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. King Charles III is the oldest king to take the throne at seventy-three years old. The details of his official coronation are yet to be determined, but King Charles III delivered a speech regarding his mother’s death and ascension. Since becoming king, Charles III has named his son William as Prince of Wales. His Majesty formerly held the title. Therefore, Prince William is next in line for the throne. On September 11, 2022, the queen’s coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle. For ten days, a long funeral process will take place. The queen’s casket will be carried across locations in the Commonwealth. The precession will end on Monday, September 19, when Queen Elizabeth II is laid to rest at her funeral in Westminster Abbey. Until then, people worldwide will pay their respects to a truly exceptional monarch. 

 

~God Save the Queen~

RIP – Queen Elizabeth II

1926 – 2022