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Queen Elizabeth II: End of an Era

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The world stood still on Thursday, September 08 as the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II broke on the internet. Kings, Queens, presidents, world leaders, crème-de-la-crème of the society and even the offspring of the peasants have mourned the highly revered Queen. The Queen, who was known for her taste for excellence breathe last on Thursday at the ripe age of 96. She was surrounded by children and grandchildren on her deathbed at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

The late Queen, originally known as Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, was born to the family of King George VI on the 21st of April, 1926. The monarch married her distant cousin, Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten of the Royal Navy, formerly Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on 20 November 1947. Afterward, the Prince took the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich. Their marriage was blessed with King Charles III, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Queen Elizabeth, being the longest-reigning monarch of England, ruled for 70 years. She was crowned on February 6, 1952, after her father’s death. However, uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Queen Elizabeth faced some challenges during her reign. One of them was the fact that her children could not answer the name of her husband. After ascending the throne, the Queen continued with the House of Windsor instead of renaming it the House of Mountbatten, after her husband.

At a time, Prince Philip said, “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children.” In 1960, she decreed that the surname Mountbatten-Windsor be adopted for their descendants who don’t carry royal titles such as Prince, Princess or Royal Highness. However, on occasions when the Queen’s direct descendants need a surname, they can also use Mountbatten-Windsor.

In 1992, three of her children separated from their partners, which brought a lot of criticism to the Palace. In the same year, Windsor Castle was seriously damaged by fire. The Queen tagged it, “annus horribilis”

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In 1997, Princess Diana, who was married to the Queen’s eldest son died. Elizabeth was heavily criticised for keeping the family mourning privately in the Scottish Highlands and was forced to make a live broadcast to prove she was not of touch.

She also had her victory moments. The Queen served as the Head of the Commonwealth until her death. The Commonwealth was formed in 1926 and is one of the largest political associations in the world, hosting 56 countries on six continents.

In 2022, she celebrated her Platinum jubilee on the throne.

In April 2021, Prince Philip died due to “old age” according to the death certificate issued by the head of the Royal Medical Household, Sir Huw Thomas. This threw the Queen, the palace and England into a state of mourning.

Queen Elizabeth made her final appearance just two days before her death on Thursday, when she formally appointed a new Prime Minister, Liz Truss on Tuesday at Balmoral, making it her first time appointing a new Prime Minister in Scotland. The Queen, who had been experiencing episodic mobility issues before her death, was photographed shaking hands with Truss while holding a walking cane and her go-to black handbag.

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, her first son Charles ascended the throne to officially become King Charles III. Charles will be officially proclaimed King on Saturday. This will happen at St James’s Palace in London, in front of a ceremonial body known as the Accession Council.

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