Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, who has been committed to her royal duties for seven decades, died peacefully in her Scottish estate on Thursday afternoon (6 Sep). She was 96.
Immediately, the crowd rushed to the gates as the notice of Queen Elizabeth II's death was attached to the black iron gates, signalling the passing of the only monarch that most Britons have ever known.nAfter 70 years, the national anthem God Save The Queen will no longer be sung.
1. Her Curriculum Vitae
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on 21 April 1926. She was the Queen and Head of State of 15 other countries. She was the Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England for a full seventy years.
Her husband, Prince Philip, was her consort for 73 years until his death in April 2021, at the age of 99. The royal couple are survived by their four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
Queen Elizabeth was served by 15 Prime Ministers. Two days prior to her death, she appointed Liz Truss as the Prime Minister to succeed Boris Johnson.
Throughout her long life, she met a quarter of all American Presidents who have ever lived (Joe Biden is the 46th), five popes, and hundreds of national leaders and prominent figures.
2. First Female Royal To Join The Army
At the age of 18, Elizabeth registered at a labour exchange and undertook a vehicle maintenance course in Aldershot, Hampshire, learning how to diagnose, strip, and repair faulty engines.
Whilst she was engaging in war efforts, she met her future husband Prince Philip of Greece in 1939, the nephew of the deposed king of Greece, when he was a cadet at the Dartmouth Naval College.
Princess Elizabeth was the first female in the royal family to join the army as an active-duty member.
3. Her Defining Speech
What came to define her reign was a speech she made on her 21st birthday in 1947.
"I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it shall be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and to the great imperial family to which we all belong I shall not have the strength to carry out this resolution unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do. I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow and God bless all of you who are willing to share it."
4. Previously Third in Line of Succession
It may come as a surprise, but Princess Alexandra Mary was not expected to ascend to the throne at her birth. She was the third in the line of succession.
Consequently, Princess Elizabeth became the heir to the throne upon her fathers coronation in May 1937.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were subsequently urged to take up more public duties in lieu of her ailing father.
5. Her Coronation
Her coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953 was a widely viewed affair.
The BBC coverage made a breakthrough for the history of broadcasting, holding a then-record of 27 million audience in the United Kingdom (out of its 36 million population), and 11 million tuned into the event on the radio.
Her coronation service was split into six parts: the recognition, the oath, the anointing, the investiture, the enthronement, and the homage. This process took three hours to complete.
6. Gradual Exposure to the Media
It should be said that the Queen was a relatively private person. To her credit, she was astounding and beautiful.
1997 would also be the year where the first royal walkabouts started, with the Queen and her family personally engaging the crowds lining their route. They would accept flowers and little gifts, even holding small conversations.
However perfunctory it may seem; it was very well-received and significant to the people and those around the world.
7. Public Scandals
Most famously of them all would be Prince Charles failed marriage with Princess Diana Spencer. When Princess Diana was met with a tragic car accident in Paris on 31 August 1997, there was an outpour of grief and recrimination against the royal family, especially the Queen, for she did not leave her Balmoral residence.
The most recent royal scandal is still fresh in our memories, of Prince Harry becoming estranged from his family after his marriage to the American actress Meghan Markle. The pair even claimed that they were psychologically damaged and racially abused by the Royal family, which damaged their cultivated image.
8. The Collapse of Windsor Castle
Given that Windsor Castle was her sanctuary and safety throughout World War II, and later became her official residence in 2011, the place holds a special significance in Elizabeths heart.
In December 1992, Windsor Castle was badly damaged in a fire that was accidentally ignited by the workmen.
In her speech delivered in the City of London, she conceded the need for a more transparent monarchy for a less acrimonious media.
9. International Response
The new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, lauded Queen Elizabeth II as the "very spirit of Great Britain", stating that she has always been the nations stability and strength.
US President Joe Biden remarked, "Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world."
Even more surprisingly, Russian President Vladimir Putin extended his own condolences, calling her demise an "irreparable loss."
Queen Elizabeth II, may you rest in peace.