Queen Elizabeth Passes Away Peacefully On 8 Sep, The End Of An Era
People aged 70 and below have known only one person to be the ruler of the United Kingdom (UK).
That has sadly changed, as Queen Elizabeth II has passed away, aged 96.
Her passing marks the end of an era for Britain, as she was their longest-reigning monarch.
Queen Elizabeth’s passing announced by Palace
The Queen’s passing was announced in a sombre statement from the official website of Buckingham Palace on Thursday (8 Sep), UK time.
It said that she passed away peacefully at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, one of her royal residences.
It also said that her eldest son Charles, now the King, as well as his wife Camilla the Queen Consort, will remain at Balmoral that evening and return to London the next day.
The website has now turned into a holding page, with a black background and an image of the Queen on her Coronation Day.
Moment of the greatest sadness: King Charles
Shortly after the sorrowful news was revealed, His Majesty the King released a statement on The Royal Family’s Twitter account.
He said his mother’s passing was a “moment of the greatest sadness”.
Noting that she was a cherished sovereign and much-loved mother, he added that her loss won’t be felt by just him and his family, but the whole country, and indeed many people around the world.
Queen Elizabeth was under medical supervision
Hours before the announcement of the Queen’s passing, there was a portent of what was to come when the Palace released a statement on her health.
They said that she was “under medical supervision” on recommendation from her doctors, as they were concerned after an evaluation that morning.
Her Majesty was “comfortable”, they added.
The statement was unusual as the Palace seldom commented on the Queen’s health.
Her family members, including Charles and her grandson, Prince William, immediately made their way to Balmoral, reported the BBC.
Double rainbow appears in London
After the news broke about the Queen’s health, crowds started gathering in front of Buckingham Palace in London, her official residence, despite the slight drizzle.
Then, a double rainbow appeared in London, also seen by the people outside the gates. It was a sight ripe with symbolism.
Shortly after that, the Queen’s passing was announced and the Union Jack was lowered to half-mast.
Over at Windsor Castle, some 36km from London and Her Majesty’s beloved residence, another rainbow appeared. The flag was also lowered.
The Queen’s last public engagement
Two days before her passing, the Queen granted an audience to new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, in what would be her last public engagement.
During the meeting on Tuesday (6 Sep), she invited Ms Truss to form a new government.
Though she looked frail, she stood upright and had a wide smile, though observers were concerned at what seemed to be a bruise on her right hand.
Queen Elizabeth reigned for over 70 years
The Queen was born on 21 Apr 1926, the elder child of the then Duke of York.
She ascended to the throne at the age of 26 in Feb 1952 upon the death of her father, who became King George VI after his brother abdicated.
During her long reign, she saw her country through the post-World War II period to the Cold War, Brexit and Covid-19.
In 2015, she became the longest-reigning monarch in British history, surpassing Queen Victoria. She also became the longest-reigning female monarch in world history.
In 2016, she overtook King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand to become the second-longest serving sovereign monarch in history, after Louis XIV of France who reigned for over 72 years from 1643 to 1715.
She also went through 15 prime ministers, starting with Winston Churchill and ending with Ms Truss.
Her husband, Prince Philip, passed away in Apr 2021 after 74 years of marriage.
The Queen also unfortunately caught Covid-19 in Feb, though she seemed to have made a quick recovery as she resumed state duties soon after.
Just earlier this year, the UK celebrated Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, marking her 70 years as monarch.
For many British people, the Queen is the only monarch they have ever known.
Thus, her passing is truly the end of an era, and the world will have to get used to a new British ruler.
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Featured image adapted from The Royal Family on Twitter.
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