On Thursday, September 8, the 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth II of England passed away in Scotland at Balmoral Castle, where she had spent most of the summer. After becoming Queen in 1952, she remained in power for 70 years, earning her the title of the longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom’s history.
Charles III, Elizabeth’s son and the new King of the United Kingdom, expressed his family’s great sadness following the passing of his mother, stating, “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.” He also highlighted the impact his mother’s death will have upon the entire world, saying, “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”
Apart from the royal family, some of Britain’s most prominent figures have spoken on the Queen’s death and legacy. The recently-appointed Prime Minister of the U.K., Liz Truss, said that Elizabeth was at the center of Britain’s movement towards modernity, and that the Queen “provided us with the stability and strength that we needed.” Boris Johnson, the former Prime Minister, wrote, “This is our country’s saddest day. In the hearts of every one of us there is an ache at the passing of our Queen, a deep and personal sense of loss—far more intense, perhaps, than we expected.” The First Ministers of Scotland and Wales also expressed their condolences. The supreme religious authority of the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, communicated the sadness that he felt in the wake of the Queen’s death, and said that his “prayers are with the King and the royal family.”
Additionally, countless political figures from across the world expressed their sympathies for the Queen’s death. American President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden wrote in a statement, “She was the first British monarch to whom people all around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection—whether they heard her on the radio as a young princess speaking to the children of the United Kingdom, or gathered around their televisions for her coronation, or watched her final Christmas speech or her Platinum Jubilee on their phones. And she, in turn, dedicated her whole life to their service.”
Immediately after the Queen’s death, national life in the U.K. was “put on hold” for mourning the loss. The nation will show its deep sadness for the passing of the Queen through various ceremonial actions, including canceling official engagements, flying flags at half-mast, ringing church bells, and ordering gun salutes.
As the globe mourns the loss of Britain's longest-tenured and much-beloved monarch, we remember the life and legacy that she has left behind. The Queen was born in London on April 21, 1926, to future King George VI and his wife. Throughout World War II, Elizabeth wrote to her third cousin, Philip, Prince of Greece, and they developed a romantic relationship that culminated in their marriage on November 20, 1947. The two of them share four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. In 1952, the death of her father, King George VI, marked the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign as Queen. At the age of 27, she was crowned at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953.
Great Britain saw substantial change during Elizabeth’s time as Queen. Perhaps one of the most significant developments was the end of the British Empire, which had dominated the globe for centuries. Additionally, Elizabeth witnessed the decline of the prominence of the monarchy itself. As Great Britain entered a new era in which the monarchy was not treated with the same level of traditional respect, Elizabeth honored the developing social norms and engaged with the public in more passive fashions, while still maintaining a consistent public presence.
With the second Elizabethan Age officially concluded, the United Kingdom will enter a new era laced with uncertainties under King Charles III, who has yet to be crowned. While many in the U.K. and around the world will profoundly miss their Queen, the time has come to say the four words dormant since 1952: “God Save the King.”
Mansoor, Sanya. “How the World Is Responding to News of Queen Elizabeth II’s Death.” TIME, Time Magazine, 9 Sept. 2022, https://time.com/6211821/queen-elizabeth-ii-death-world-reactions/.
“Queen Elizabeth II Has Died.” BBC News, BBC, 8 Sept. 2022, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-61585886.
About the Author:
Karenna Marnik is a junior student. In addition to writing for the Alcott, she is a business manager for her school’s newspaper. She is also passionate about sailing, debate club, and participating in student leadership. Karenna enjoys a lifestyle filled with exercise and the outdoors, particularly hiking and skiing.