Queen Elizabeth dies at the age of 96, bringing an end to an era in British history
On Thursday, September 9, 2018, at the age of 96, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the nation’s figurehead, and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, Queen Elizabeth passed away in a peaceful manner at her home in Scotland. She held the title of figurehead for the entirety of her reign.
“The death of my dear Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest anguish for me and all members of my family,” the new monarch, who is her eldest son Charles, said in a statement after her passing.
The 73-year-old man said in a statement, “I know her death will be greatly felt throughout the country, the Realms, and the Commonwealth, and by many individuals around the world.”
When her doctors announced that she was under medical care just after lunchtime on Thursday, the news that the queen’s health was deteriorating became public. This prompted her family to rush to Balmoral Castle in Scotland to be by her side as she battled the worsening condition.
When the flag was lowered to half-staff in front of Buckingham Palace, in the heart of London, there was a startled hush among the thousands of people who had gathered there. As the notification proclaiming the passing of the sole king that the majority of British citizens had ever known was affixed to the wrought-iron gates, the crowd quickly moved toward them.
Officials from the royal family have stated that King Charles III and his wife, Camilla, the Queen Consort, will continue to stay at Balmoral before making their way back to London on Friday. On that day, Charles is scheduled to deliver a speech to the people of the United Kingdom and meet with Prime Minister Liz Truss. The specifics of the funeral have not yet been decided upon.
After Elizabeth’s passing, Charles was automatically elevated to the position of king of the United Kingdom and the head of state in 14 other realms, some of which include Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.
A Shock to the British Nation
The queen, whose husband passed away in the previous year, had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace referred to as “episodic mobility issues” since the end of the previous year, which forced her to withdraw from almost all of her public engagements.
Only on Tuesday did she complete her final official task by appointing Truss as prime minister, which was the 15th position she held throughout her rule.
Outside of her office in Downing Street, where the flag, along with those at royal palaces and government buildings across Britain, was lowered, Truss said, “The death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation and to the world.”
“Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II was there to provide us with the stability and support that we required.” Truss, who found out about her passing at approximately 4:30 p.m., stated that she embodied the very essence of what it means to be British, and her spirit will go on. London time.
Not only did the news shock people in Britain, but it also prompted leaders from other countries all across the world to offer their sympathies.
Joe Biden, the Vice President of the United States, was quoted as saying in a statement that “her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history and in the story of our globe.” He gave the order for the flags at the White House to be lowered to their half-staff positions.
The mayor of Paris made the announcement that the lights of the Eiffel Tower would be turned off in her honor; in Brazil, the government declared three days of morning and the Christ the Redeemer statue was illuminated with the colors of the Union Jack; and both the United Nations General Assembly and the United Nations Security Council stood for a moment of silence.
Even Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country’s relations with Britain have deteriorated due to the conflict in Ukraine, has expressed his condolences, describing the tragedy as a “irreparable loss.”
When her father, King George VI, passed away on February 6, 1952, Queen Elizabeth II, who was only 25 years old at the time, ascended to the throne to become the monarch of the United Kingdom. She went on to become the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state.
At the time of her passing, the queen held the position of head of state not only in the United Kingdom but also in a number of other countries, including Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tuvalu, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
There is conjecture that the departure of Elizabeth may see an increase in republican sentiment, particularly in the other realms, and opinion polls have revealed that Charles does not enjoy anywhere near the same degree of support.
In a number of the countries that were once British colonies in the Caribbean, there is a growing movement to have the monarchy deposed as the head of state and for the United Kingdom to make restitution payments for its role in the transatlantic slave trade.
Niambi Hall-Campbell, an academic who is 44 years old and chairs the Bahamas National Reparations Committee, said that “as the role of the monarchy changes, we expect this can be an opportunity to advance discussions of reparations for our region.” Hall-Campbell is the chairperson of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee.
When Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was asked during a radio interview if the passing of the Queen brought Australia any closer to becoming a republic, he said that it was not the time to talk about it.
“There is just one thing that matters today, and that is paying honor to Queen Elizabeth II,” said the speaker. “Today is a day for one subject and one issue only.”