On Thursday, September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, died peacefully under medical supervision. At age 96, she had been on the throne for 70 years. She was a symbol of stability during the decline of the British empire and disarray in her own family.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the age of 99, he died on April 9, 2021. It was just a few days before he would have turned 100.
Queen Elizabeth II may have met more people than anyone else in history because she went to so many public events. Her picture was one of the most used in the world. It was on stamps, coins, and banknotes.
The World Sends Their Regards
In Canada, where the British monarch is the head of state, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised her “wisdom, compassion, and warmth.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, which was once the “jewel in the crown” of the British empire, tweeted, “She personified dignity and decency in public life. Pained by her demise.”
U.S. President Joe Biden said she was a “stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States.”
But her thoughts and feelings were mostly a mystery. Not much of her personality was shown to the public. As a horse owner, she didn’t seem happier than when it was time for the Royal Ascot races. She never got tired of having her beloved Welsh corgi dogs with her.
She Had One Of The Longest Reigns Ever
During her 70-year reign as head of state for the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, more than a dozen U.S. presidents and nine popes came and went. Her life went from Model T cars to cars that drive themselves.
Only three other kings or queens have been in charge for more than 70 years. She follows in the footsteps of France’s Louis XIV, Liechtenstein’s Johann II, and Thailand’s Bhumibol Adulyadej.
After her father, King George VI, died in 1952, when Elizabeth was 25 years old, she became queen. She filled in for him when his health was getting worse.
As queen, Queen Elizabeth II did something new when she went to Ireland in 2011 to show peace and friendship. It was the first time a British monarch had been to Ireland since 1921.
She lived long enough to see more than 40 countries that used to be British colonies get their independence. She also saw Britain leave the European Union.
Her death will have a vast and unpredictable effect on the country and the monarchy.
The palace said she died at Balmoral Castle, her summer home in Scotland. When her health worsened, members of the royal family rushed to her side.
When officials brought the news that the queen had died to the wrought-iron gates of her London home, Buckingham Palace, people outside wept.
Soon, many people came, even though it was raining, and they left dozens of colorful bouquets at the gates.
Queen Elizabeth II was a dignified, reliable person who ruled for longer than any other British monarch.
She Brought The Monarchy Into The Modern World
She helped bring the institution into the modern world by removing court rituals and making it a little more open and accessible, all under the watchful eye of a media that was getting increasingly intrusive and often hostile.
Even though the country she ruled sometimes had trouble finding its place in the new world order and her own family often didn’t live up to public expectations, the queen remained a symbol of stability.
Queen Elizabeth II also tried to get past class differences, and even hardened republicans had to respect her for that.
It was announced that her 73-year-old son Prince Charles became king automatically and will be called King Charles III.
Camilla, Charles’s second wife, will be called the Queen Consort.
In a statement, Charles called his mother’s death “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” adding: “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
Her Health Was In Decline
In February, two weeks after she had been on the throne for 70 years (since 1952), the palace said she had tested positive for COVID-19.
During an audience in mid-February, the queen told her guests that she had trouble “moving,” which led to “ongoing mobility” problems that kept her from making some appearances, like the State Opening of Parliament on May 10.
She had only missed this important role as head of state twice before because she was pregnant.
This was the first time she officially asked Charles to stand in for her, with his oldest son, Prince William, by his side.
In October, Queen Elizabeth II spent a night in a London hospital for tests. The palace later said that she was having “episodic mobility issues.”
She kept up virtual meetings with diplomats and politicians from Windsor Castle, but public duties became less common, though she made a few appearances in the U.K. In June, she marked her Platinum Jubilee.
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