Queen Elizabeth II, 96, dies in Balmoral Castle

After reigning on the throne for 70 years, the longest serving in the history of the British monarchy, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle on the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 8. Immediately after her passing Prince Charles became King Charles III, and his wife, Camilla, the Queen consort. Many of the upper royals traveled to Buckingham Palace the following day where the new King addressed the nation, during his address, Charles expressed the grief many experienced at the time of Elizabeth II’s passing, 

“I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms, and the commonwealth and by countless people around the world,” King Charles said.

Queen Elizabeth’s rule spanned many changes to not only the country she served but the entire world, her rule covered the end of British Colonization, the Cold War, the UK’s entry and exit of the European Union, 15 prime ministers, beginning with Winston Churchill (born in 1874) and ending with Liz Truss (born in 1975).  

Queen Elizabeth, born in London on April 21, 1926, had a unique path to the head of the monarchy. Once her uncle, Edward VIII abdicated from the throne in 1936, her father became King George VI. At the age of 10, Elizabeth was now the new heir to the throne. 

Elizabeth at 18 years of age fell in love with her third cousin, Phillip, who was the prince of Greece. They were married at Westminster Abbey on Nov. 20, 1947, with Prince Phillip taking the title of Duke of Edinburgh. The couple was married for 74 years until Phillips died in 2021 at the age of 99. The two had their first son, Charles, in 1948 followed by Princess Anne, in 1950, Prince Andrew in 1960, and Prince Edward in 1964. They also had eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. 

Shortly after her father King George VI died, Elizabeth was crowned as the new Queen in 1953 at just 27 years old. Elizabeth received praise for bringing reforms to the British monarchy as well as always making an effort to engage with the public. However, she wasn’t able to avoid controversy as three of her children’s marriages ended in divorce, and in 1997 Princess Diana died in a car accident. The Queen received criticism for appearing to be reluctant to respond publicly. 

With the announcement of the queen’s death, the United Kingdom entered a mourning period with British flags being flown at half-mast across the nation. Members of parliament will pay tribute to the queen and declare loyalty to King Charles. United States president Joe Biden paid tribute to the Queen by recalling how she stood in solidarity with the United States after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.