By C. Paixão
Queen Elizabeth II, the longest reigning British monarch, has died at home in Balmoral, Scotland. On the 8th September 2022, the Queen passed away at the age 96, passing on the monarch title to her eldest son, King Charles III.
Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, in 1926, as the eldest child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Her father became King in 1936 after his brother’s abdication to the throne, which made Queen Elizabeth II the next heir, following her father. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth, at the age of 25, became Queen due to the sudden death of her father, King George VI. Becoming Queen followed many responsibilities for young Elizabeth, such as becoming the head of seven independent Commonwealth countries, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon (today known as Sri Lanka).
During Elizabeth’s 70 years of service as a constitutional monarch, she faced many major political changes, including the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a conflict which lasted 30 years, the devolution in the UK, the decolonization of Africa, the withdrawal from the European Union (EU), the English exploration of the New World, and the flourishing of the British economy. Beyond that, she became globally respected and beloved by many.
Queen Elizabeth’s significant events include her coronations as Queen in 1953, celebrations of her Silver (1977), Golden (2002), Diamond (2012), and Platinum (2022) jubilees, and other political decisions she participated in over her reigning years. Queen Elizabeth faced occasional media criticism and resentment from the people on her family, especially after the breakdowns of her children’s marriages, Prince Andrew’s scandal (her youngest son), her ‘horrible year’ in 1992 due to the fire in the Windsor Castle, and her former daughter-in-law’s death, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.
On Monday, 19th September 2022, the Queen will be buried at Windsor Castle, alongside her royal predecessors. On that note, her Majesty’s state funeral will be held in Westminster Abbey in London, just across from the Palace of Westminster, the UK's parliament building where the monarch had been laying in state for the previous five days.
King Charles III was formally proclaimed King of the United Kingdom and 14 other Commonwealth realms on Saturday the 10th September 2022, 2 days after his mother’s death. Liz Truss, the new British Prime-Minister, and other senior British politicians convened without Charles, effectively establishing him as King Charles III. The King then joined them and vowed to carry on his mother's "inspiring example" as he assumed the responsibilities of the monarch. “I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me,” he added. “I know how deeply you and the entire nation, and I think I may say the whole world, sympathise with me in this irreparable loss we have all suffered.” he concluded, expressing his own sorrow.
As for the King’s coronation, the date is still not certain and is currently left in secrecy, under the codename Operation Gold Orb, but it is expected to take place sometime in 2023.