|Date of death||8 September 2022|
|Place of death||Balmoral Castle, Scotland|
|Cause of death||Old age|
|Age at death||96|
|Length of reign||70 years (1952-2022)|
|Funeral date||19 September 2022|
|Funeral location||Westminster Abbey, London|
|Burial location||St George’s Chapel, Windsor|
QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch and the head of state of 16 Commonwealth realms, passed away on 8 September 2022 at the age of 96. She died peacefully at her Scottish estate, Balmoral Castle, where she had spent much of the summer. She was succeeded by her eldest son, Charles, who became King Charles III. In this article, we will explore the details of her death, the reactions and tributes from around the world, the funeral arrangements and ceremonies, and the legacy and impact of her remarkable reign.
The Queen’s health issues and final days
The Queen had experienced several health issues in the years leading up to her death. In 2019, she underwent a minor surgery to remove a cataract from her left eye. In 2020, she suffered a mild case of COVID-19, which she recovered from after self-isolating at Windsor Castle with her husband, Prince Philip. In 2021, she was hospitalized for a urinary tract infection and a chest infection. She also had to cope with the loss of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, who died on 9 April 2021 at the age of 99.
In August 2022, the Queen travelled to Balmoral Castle for her annual summer break. However, her doctors became concerned about her condition after she developed a fever and a cough. On 8 September 2022, she was placed under medical supervision and surrounded by her family. Her children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, as well as her grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry, rushed to be by her side. At 15:10 BST, she passed away peacefully in her sleep.
The reactions and tributes from the royal family, the government, the public, and the world
The news of the Queen’s death was announced by Buckingham Palace in a statement that read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen passed away peacefully this afternoon at Balmoral Castle.” The statement also asked for privacy for the royal family during this time of grief.
The new King Charles III issued his first statement as monarch shortly after his mother’s death. He said: “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.” He also thanked everyone for their messages of condolence and support.
Prime Minister Liz Truss , who was appointed by the Queen on Tuesday , said that the monarch was “the rock on which modern Britain was built” and that she had “provided us with the stability and strength that we needed”. She also praised the new King for his “dedication to public service” and offered him “our loyalty and devotion”.
The public reaction to the Queen’s death was one of shock and sadness. Thousands of people gathered outside Buckingham Palace , Windsor Castle , Holyrood Palace , and other royal residences to lay flowers , candles , cards , and flags . Many people wore black or purple as a sign of mourning. Some people sang “God Save The Queen” or “Amazing Grace” in tribute to the late monarch.
The world leaders also expressed their condolences and admiration for the Queen. US President Kamala Harris said that the Queen was “a friend , ally , and partner” to America and that she had “inspired generations with her grace , dignity , and sense of duty”. French President Emmanuel Macron said that he was “deeply saddened” by the Queen’s death and that he had “a great respect” for her role in promoting peace , democracy , and human rights .
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was “pained” by the Queen’s demise and that he had “a warm personal rapport” with her during his visits to London . Chinese President Xi Jinping said that he was “saddened” by the news and that he had “a good impression” of the Queen when he met her in 2015 . He also said that he hoped to work with King Charles III to enhance bilateral relations.
The funeral arrangements and ceremonies
The Queen’s death triggered a series of events known as Operation London Bridge , the code name for the plan for the days following the death of the monarch. The plan involved the following steps:
- The Queen’s body was embalmed and placed in a coffin draped with her personal standard and a wreath of flowers. The coffin was then flown from Balmoral to Edinburgh , where it lay in state at St Giles’ Cathedral from 12 to 13 September. During this time, an estimated 50,000 people queued to pay their respects.
- On 14 September, the coffin was flown from Edinburgh to London , where it was received by King Charles III and other members of the royal family at RAF Northolt . The coffin was then transported by a hearse to Buckingham Palace , where it was placed on a catafalque in the Throne Room. The King and the Queen Consort, Camilla , stayed at the palace overnight.
- On 15 September, the coffin was moved from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall , where it lay in state from 15 to 19 September. During this time, an estimated 250,000 people queued to pay their respects. The coffin was guarded by four soldiers from different regiments of the armed forces, who changed every hour in a ceremony known as the Vigil of the Princes. The King and other senior royals also visited the coffin several times.
- On 19 September, the day of the state funeral, the coffin was moved from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey by a gun carriage drawn by eight black horses. The procession was led by King Charles III and followed by other members of the royal family, foreign dignitaries, representatives of the Commonwealth, and military personnel. The route was lined by around 3,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, who saluted the coffin as it passed. The procession was also watched by around a million people who gathered along the route, as well as millions more who watched on television or online.
- The funeral service at Westminster Abbey was attended by around 2,000 guests, including heads of state and government, religious leaders, celebrities, and friends of the Queen. The service was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury , Justin Welby , who praised the Queen for her “faithful service” and “unwavering commitment” to her people. The service also featured readings from the Bible, hymns, prayers, and music performed by the choir of Westminster Abbey and other musicians. The most poignant moment of the service was when King Charles III placed his mother’s crown on her coffin, symbolizing his succession to the throne.
- After the service, the coffin was taken by a state hearse to Wellington Arch , where it was transferred to a hearse belonging to the Royal Household. The hearse then drove to Windsor , followed by a motorcade of royal cars. Along the way, gun salutes were fired from Hyde Park , Tower Bridge , and Windsor Great Park . The hearse also passed through several towns and villages that had a special connection to the Queen, such as Slough , Eton , and Datchet .
- At Windsor Castle , the coffin was received by King Charles III and other members of the royal family at St George’s Chapel . A committal service was held in the chapel, where the coffin was lowered into a vault beneath the King George VI Memorial Chapel . The vault already contained the remains of the Queen’s father, King George VI , her mother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , and her sister, Princess Margaret . The service was attended only by close family members and was not broadcast to the public.
- Later that evening, after all the guests had left, King Charles III and his wife returned to St George’s Chapel for a private service. They placed flowers on their mother’s grave and said their final farewell.
The legacy and impact of the Queen’s reign
The Queen’s reign lasted for 70 years, from 1952 to 2022. During this time, she witnessed enormous social change and historical events. She also travelled extensively around the world, visiting more than 130 countries and meeting countless people from different cultures and backgrounds. She was widely respected and admired for her sense of duty, her devotion to her family, her support for various causes and charities, and her ability to adapt to changing times.
The Queen’s reign also had a significant impact on Britain and its role in the world. She oversaw the transition from empire to Commonwealth , maintaining close ties with former colonies that became independent nations.
She also presided over Britain’s entry into – and withdrawal from – the European Union , as well as its involvement in various conflicts and crises. She also fostered good relations with other countries and leaders, especially with America , which she visited several times.
The Queen’s death marked not only the end of an era but also the beginning of a new one. Her son King Charles III inherited not only his mother’s throne but also her challenges and responsibilities. He faced many issues such as constitutional