The longest-reigning monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II, died peacefully on September 8, 2022, at the family’s summer retreat at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Buckingham Palace confirmed her death in the statement:
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”
It was also later revealed that she was “under medical supervision” due to “concern from her doctors” and that Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Prince William were immediately notified of the Queen’s declining health.
Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-reigning monarch in British history, surpassing the record of 63 years on the throne by Queen Victoria. In early 2022, she even celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking seven decades of her service to the Commonwealth. As a constitutional monarch, her powers were ceremonial and symbolic as she was politically neutral; thus, while she was the Sovereign Head of the State, only the Elected Parliament had the power to make and pass legislation. Although she could not pass legislation, it had to be formally approved by her to become law. She also had an important role in the running of the nation; she undertook representational and constitutional duties, such as visiting charities, hosting Heads of State, and participating in annual programs. An example of her contributions to charities can be reflected in her well-known love for animals, specifically corgis. When she was eighteen, she was gifted her first Corgi, Susan, by her father King George VI, beginning the start of nearly 80 years of Corgis in the Royal Household. Her love for corgis prompted her support for animal organizations such as the Kennel Club.
Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth, the palace had a detailed plan called “Operation London Bridge”, a ten-day plan initially created in the early 1960s, and revised several times in recent years. “Operation London Bridge” consisted of the announcement of her death, the official period of mourning, and the details of her state funeral. Following the Queen's death, on the first day, King Charles III was proclaimed the new King and met with the prime minister and Cabinet, and on the tenth day, a national day of mourning was proclaimed with a state funeral taking place at Westminster Abbey. She was then laid to rest at Windsor Palace, next to her father in the King George VI Memorial Chapel. Also, on the tenth day, two minutes of silence were observed at midday. These procedures were followed closely when she died.
Following the British line of succession, the late Queen's eldest son Prince Charles was proclaimed King, becoming the oldest person to accede to the British throne at age seventy-four. The official ceremony was held on the Saturday following the Queen's death at St James's Palace in London. This ceremony consisted of a series of prayers and pledges, honouring the late Queen and pledging support for the new monarch. He is now the head of the Commonwealth, leading over 2.5 billion people from the Commonwealth realms, such as Australia and Jamaica. He is also an environmentalist advocate, often championing better conservation, organic farming, and tackling climate change. During the COP26 climate summit in Scotland in 2021, he even delivered the opening speech, urging world leaders to strengthen their efforts in addressing climate change and warning, “Time has quite literally run out.” In the event that King Charles dies, Prince William, his eldest son, will immediately take the throne.
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