Queen Elizabeth: 96 Years Young
It’s been almost two months now since the Queen passed away, leaving England without the monarch they have known for nearly three-quarters of a century. On September 8th, 2022, Queen Elizabeth died in Scotland at her estate, Balmoral Castle. She was the longest reigning monarch, having been on the throne since 1952 (70 years). The Queen had been on a steady decline health-wise since she was hospitalized in late November last year and was forced to cancel her appearance at a remembrance service. She then contracted Covid-19 in February and was reported to have mobility issues. She did not attend scheduled appearances after that, including her Platinum Jubilee celebrations. For the following months, she would not participate in other celebrations or state events, or would simply arrive privately due to her increasing mobility issues. Later, in September she stayed in Scotland to appoint the new Prime Minister.
Although becoming one of the world’s most heralded figures during her reign, Queen Elizabeth was not always destined to be queen. Until her uncle married a commoner, she was very far out in the line for the throne. During WWII, she and her sister lived outside of London, away from their parents. In 1942, her father made her an honorary colonel in the Royal Army. In 1946, he also made her a member of the Privy Council, allowing her to act as monarch in his absence. On February 6, 1952, her father (King George VI) died of lung cancer, allowing her to be formally crowned as Queen in 1953. The Queen went on a tour of Australia and New Zealand, making her the first British monarch to visit both countries. She went on to visit Canada, the United States, India, and South America.
The Queen also played a significant role in modernizing the monarchy, allowing formal events and addresses to be televised to the public. 750 million people watched Princess Diana’s wedding and 33.2 million people watched her funeral.
In 2017, the Queen reduced her public appearances, allowing some of the other royals to attend instead of her, especially during the pandemic.
While the Queen’s health was on a decline, the event planners and the government had planned the mourning process years in advance. Not only was the ten-day mourning process essential for tradition, but it was also essential for government meetings.
September 9, 2022
The Queen’s coffin was displayed in the ballroom while mourners paid their respects. From the moment of the Queen’s death, Charles became King. This was his first day on the official schedule. He met with the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, and met with people gathered outside that came to pay their respects.
September 10, 2022
King Charles met with the Privy Council (a group of advisors) and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This was the first time the meeting was televised.
September 12, 2022
King Charles goes to Parliament where the lawmakers send their condolences. The Royal Family also arrives along with the Queen’s coffin.
September 13, 2022
The coffin is taken to Buckingham Palace and lines open up to mourners.
September 19, 2022
The Queen’s funeral takes place, and she is buried in the King George VI Memorial Chapel alongside her husband, parents, and sister.