Flags are lowered to half-staff, BBC’s famous red logo has gone black and God Save The Queen has shifted back to the national anthem. The dreaded day has come, Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully Thursday at Balmoral Castle, her summer estate in Scotland, ending her 70-year monarchy.
Who Was The Queen?
Queen Elizabeth was a feminist, an empowering and adored sovereign who fought for her country and her family while remaining poised and reserved. The death of the queen will overtake England and the rest of the world, as many people cannot remember a time when she was not on the throne. Reporter Richard Morgan was in the crowd that formed on Thursday outside of Buckingham Palace and put into words the familial aura that the queen projected, saying, “Everyone has grown up with her. She was a constant. How does a constant leave your life?”
The Royal Family’s Past
While these last 70 years were filled with symbolic and ceremonial achievements, there was also a family growing up in the walls of the palace. Being the most royal family in the world, they have been closely watched and scrutinized by the public for decades. Most recently, the divide between Prince Harry and the family after his marriage to Meghan Markle was quite scandalous, but the struggles of a life of royalty and fame go back to the beginning of her reign. Her sister Princess Margaret spent quite some time in the tabloids and her son Prince Andrew has been correlated to the Jeffrey Epstein case. Most notably and tragically recalled, would be the event of Princess Diana’s sudden death that shook the world.
The World’s Remembrance
Leaders from around the world, along with Britons alike have shared their remarks and admirations of the queen on social media, all emphasizing the great respect that the world shared for Her Majesty.
Biden cancelled a planned statement about the most recent Covid vaccine in news of the queens passing and the White House press secretary stated “Our relationship with the people of the United Kingdom, and this is something that the president has said himself, has grown stronger and stronger. And it is one of our closest allies.”
President of France, Emmanuel Macron, tweeted that “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”
Jackie Peebles, a source who spoke to The New York Times, was emotional as she said, “She is all I’ve ever known since I was a child, I feel like she is my Nan.”
What Happens Now?
While the world seems to slow down to mourn, things move quickly for the royal family through this loss. Charles immediately was made King and the plan known as Operation London Bridge was put into action. This plan, that specifically and meticulously mapped out the moments after the Queens death, took decades to create. A professor of British and Commonwealth history at the University of London told The New York Times “from the moment the queen became monarch, Whitehall started the planning process about what would happen when she died.” The death of the queen was shared to the new prime minister Liz Truss by saying “London Bridge is down.”
Charles has now stepped into the role that he has been heading towards his entire life, but that is not to say that the queen’s impact will not remain. Anna Wintour of Vogue said, “We hear so much about the end of an era, but Her Majesty’s passing, after so many decades of dedicated service, is undoubtedly that.” The grace and devotion of the queen will live on not only in Britain but in the world, something that the royal family is aware of as they grieve. Thursday afternoon, the now King Charles made a statement saying, “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.”