Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, aged 96.
“The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral Palace this afternoon. The King and Queen will stay at Balmoral tonight and return to London tomorrow,” Buckingham Palace announced at 6:30pm on September 8.
Prince Charles, 73, who was appointed heir to the throne at the age of three, is now King Charles III, and will be officially announced at St James’s Palace in London as soon as possible.
The news comes hours after Buckingham Palace said doctors were concerned about the Queen’s health and that she needed medical observation. All of the Queen’s children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, 72, Prince Andrew, 62, and Prince Edward, 58, immediately went to Balmoral Castle to be with her. Her two grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry were also present.
Britain will hold 10 days of national mourning in memory of the Queen.
As Queen of the United Kingdom, as well as head of the 54-nation Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II is easily the most famous head of state in the world during her very long reign.
Queen Elizabeth II came to power in 1952 at the age of 25, after the death of her father, King George VI. In February, the United Kingdom celebrated her 70th anniversary of the Platinum Reign, longer than any other monarch in the country’s history. Her husband Prince Philip died in April 2021 at the age of 99.
The Queen’s health has been in the spotlight since she spent a night in hospital last October with an undisclosed illness and doctors later advised her to rest. The same month, the Queen also made headlines with her first public walk since 2004. Since then, the Queen has limited her public appearances.
In February, the Queen was confirmed to be infected with nCoV, causing concern because she was in a high-risk group. Buckingham Palace then issued a statement saying she had only mild flu-like symptoms, but the Queen later shared that she felt tired and exhausted from the virus infection.
In May, Queen Elizabeth did not attend the opening of parliament for the first time in nearly 60 years due to travel difficulties.
Concerns about the Queen’s health increased when she withdrew from an online meeting with new government ministers on September 7, after doctors told her to rest. Just a day earlier, the Queen welcomed the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss and officially appointed her.
In the photos of the ceremony, the Queen is smiling but looks weak and has to be on a cane. A photo has sparked alarm when it shows a dark bruise on the Queen’s right hand.
Television and radio stations have cut their regular programming to broadcast the news of the Queen’s death, with specials long rehearsed to commemorate her life and long reign. The national anthem “God Save the Queen” is played. Flags were lowered and church bells rang in memory of the Queen.
For most people in the UK, Queen Elizabeth is the only monarch they know, an unalterable figure on stamps, banknotes and coins. Small in stature but an icon of pop culture, she always stands out in brightly colored outfits with matching hats, pearl necklaces, gloves and handbags.
Her reign spanned a period of dramatic change, from the Cold War to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from climate change to the Covid-19 pandemic, from handwritten letters and steamship to email and space exploration. She is considered the living embodiment of post-war Britain and the link between the modern era and the bygone era.
As the head of one of the most famous families in the world, she enjoyed immense public support throughout her life, even in the face of backlash following Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
More recently, the British Royal Family has been rocked by statements from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan about racism within the royal family. She also endured a scandal involving her second son, Prince Andrew, who had a friendship with pedophile offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The British were shocked to realize when her reign would end after the Queen lost her beloved husband. However, the royal family has long been preparing for the eventuality of the Queen’s death and Prince Charles’ succession is well underway.
Prince Charles, his eldest son Prince William, who is now crown prince, and his wife Princess Kate now begin to assume more powers.
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