Britain is in grief after Queen Elizabeth II‘s death. She was 96 and died peacefully at Balmoral, her Scottish estate. Her entire family was at her side.
Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-serving monarch who reigned in the United Kingdom for over 70 years. The Queen had been sworn to the Throne in 1952. She was 27 then.
The Queen had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace called age-related “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year. She passed away around 4 pm (GMT) and her death was publicly announced at around 6.30 pm, British time.
The Queen had four children. Her first son, Charles, was born in 1948, followed by Princess Anne, in 1950, Prince Andrew, in 1960, and Prince Edward, in 1964. Between her and her husband, King Philip(who died last year), they had eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Her funeral is likely to take place after two weeks.
Queen Elizabeth II’s tenure as head of state spanned post-war austerity, the transition from empire to Commonwealth, the end of the Cold War and the UK’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union.
Her reign spanned 15 prime ministers starting with Winston Churchill, born in 1874, and including Ms Truss, born 101 years later in 1975. She held weekly audiences with her prime minister throughout her reign.
Queen Charles III will now be the new King. He is 73 years old. His heir is Prince William, his eldest son. Charles III is married to Camilla who will be the new Queen. Prince Charles III was earlier married to Princess Diana who died in a car crash in 1997. Prince Charles, the royal who will now be the King and the new Monarch of Britain said his mother’s death was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world.
“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”, he added.
Prince Charles, now to be the King, will address the Nation today. He will return to London with Camilla, now the Queen Consort from Scotland. All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision. Her grandson and now heir to the throne, Prince William, and his estranged brother, Prince Harry with his wife Meghan were also present in Scotland. also gathered there.
Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen on Tuesday, said the monarch was the rock on which modern Britain was built, who had “provided us with the stability and strength that we needed”. Queen Elizabeth spent more than seven decades on the throne as the UK rebuilt from war, lost an empire, transformed its economy and both entered and left the European Union. She was a constant presence, the only monarch most Britons have ever known, and she guided the institution of the monarchy through choppy waters.
Speaking about the new King Charles III, British PM Truss said: “We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much, to so many, for so long.
“And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country, exactly as Her Majesty would have wished, by saying the words ‘God save the King’.”
Huge crowds have started gathering at Buckingham Palace in London. The union flag on top of the palace was lowered to half-mast at 18:30 BST and an official notice announcing the death was posted outside.
On the Queen’s death, Prince William and his wife, Catherine, became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall.
Buckingham Palace staff placed the official notice of the Queen’s death outside the palace. The official notice read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
The Queen was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, in Mayfair, London, on 21 April 1926. Few could have foreseen she would become monarch but in December 1936 her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated from the throne to marry the twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson. So, Elizabeth’s father became King George VI and, at age 10, Lilibet, as she was known in the family, became heir to the throne.
Within three years, Britain was at war with Nazi Germany. Elizabeth and her younger sister, Princess Margaret, spent much of wartime at Windsor Castle after their parents rejected suggestions they be evacuated to Canada.
After turning 18, Elizabeth spent five months with the Auxiliary Territorial Service and learned basic motor mechanic and driving skills. “I began to understand the esprit de corps that flourishes in the face of adversity,” she recalled later.
Through the war, she exchanged letters with her third cousin, Philip, Prince of Greece, who was serving in the Royal Navy. Their romance blossomed and the couple married at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947, with the prince taking the title of Duke of Edinburgh. She would later describe him as “my strength and stay” through 74 years of marriage, before his death in 2021, aged 99. To mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 20 November 2007, the Queen and Prince Philip revisit Broadlands where 60 years ago in November 1947 they spent their wedding night. Princess Elizabeth was in Kenya in 1952, representing the ailing King, when Philip broke the news that her father had died. She immediately returned to London as the new Queen.
Elizabeth was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, aged 27, in front of a then-record TV audience estimated at more than 20 million people.
Subsequent decades would see great change, with the end of the British Empire overseas and the Swinging ’60s sweeping away social norms at home.
After the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car accident in Paris in 1997, the Queen drew criticism for appearing reluctant to respond publicly. There were questions about the monarchy’s relevance in modern society.
“No institution… should expect to be free from the scrutiny of those who give it their loyalty and support, not to mention those who don’t,” she acknowledged.
Although the Queen’s health kept her from some events recently, she had joked, “My heart has been with you all.” On her Platinum Jubilee in June this year, the Queen delighted crowds by appearing on the balcony with three generations of her family.
In a moment met with cheers from huge crowds in the Mall, she was joined by three generations of her family on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the finale of a pageant. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge on the balcony during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant on June 05, 2022, in London, England.
Official engagements will be cancelled and union flags will be flown at half-mast on royal residences, government buildings, across the Armed Forces and on UK posts overseas. Members of Parliament will pay tribute to the Queen and take an oath to King Charles. The World’s political heads have mourned the Queen’s death.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his tribute to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.”I had memorable meetings with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during my UK visits in 2015 and 2018. I will never forget her warmth and kindness,” he tweeted.”During one of the meetings she showed me the handkerchief Mahatma Gandhi gifted her on her wedding. I will always cherish that gesture,” his tweet read.