Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, aged 96.
“The Queen passed away peacefully at Balmoral Palace this afternoon. The new King and Queen will stay at Balmoral tonight and return to London tomorrow,” Buckingham Palace announced at 6:30 pm on September 8 (0:30 am Sept 9 UTC +7).
Prince Charles, 73, who was appointed heir to the throne at the age of three, is now King Charles III, and will be officially announced at St James’s Palace in London as soon as possible.
Buckingham Palace said that doctors were concerned about the Queen’s health and that she needed medical observation. All of the Queen’s children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, 72, Prince Andrew, 62, and Prince Edward, 58, immediately went to Balmoral Castle to visit His Majesty. Her two grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry were also present.
The UK will hold 10 days of national mourning in memory of the Queen.
As Queen of the United Kingdom, as well as head of state of the 54-nation Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II is easily the most famous head of state in the world during her very long reign.
Queen Elizabeth II came to power in 1952 at the age of 25, after the death of her father, King George VI. In February, the United Kingdom celebrated her 70th anniversary of the Platinum Reign, longer than any other monarch in the country’s history. Her husband Prince Philip died in April 2021 at the age of 99.
The Queen’s health deteriorated in October last year because of an undisclosed illness. The same month, the Queen also made headlines with her first public walk since 2004. Since then, the Queen has limited her public appearances.
In February, the Queen was confirmed to have Covid-19, causing concern because she was in a high-risk group. Buckingham Palace issued a statement saying Her Majesty was tired and exhausted from the virus infection.
In May, Queen Elizabeth did not attend the opening of parliament for the first time in nearly 60 years due to travel difficulties.
Concerns about the Queen’s health increased when she did not meet new ministers on September 7, after the prime minister resigned. Just a day earlier, the Queen welcomed the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss.
The national anthem “God Save the Queen” is played. Flags were lowered and church bells rang in memory of the Queen.
For most people in the UK, Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch they know, an unalterable figure on stamps, banknotes and coins. His Majesty always stands out in dazzling costumes with hats, pearl necklaces, gloves and bags.
Her reign spanned a period of dramatic change, from the Cold War to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, from climate change to the Covid-19 pandemic, from handwritten letters and steamship to email and space exploration.
Her Majesty enjoyed immense public support throughout her life, even during the backlash following Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
More recently, the British Royal Family was shocked by statements from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan about racism. Her Majesty also suffered from a scandal involving a second prince, Prince Andrew, who had a friendship with pedophile offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The British have long been preparing for the death of the Queen and the succession of Prince Charles.