Queen Elizabeth II dies aged 96


Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth has passed away at Balmoral on 8 September 2022.


In a statement, the palace said, “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”


“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow”.


Prince Charles, who will now ascend to the throne as King Charles, said, “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. 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.”


“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”


All her children travelled to the Scottish estate, alongside the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William. The Duke, alongside the Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and the Countess of Wessex, arrived at Aberdeen airport just before 16:00 BST on 8 September.


Prince William then drove them alone to the estate, a journey of around 40 miles.


The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, was already in Scotland undertaking royal engagements.


The Duke of Sussex was also present. He was already in the UK with his wife Meghan to attend a charity function, but he travelled alone to Balmoral.


The death follows days of uncertainty regarding the Queen’s health. On 6 September she appointed new Prime Minister Liz Truss from Balmoral, rather than the traditional location of Buckingham Palace. The next day, the Queen postponed the Privy Council after doctors “advised her to rest”.


Mourners gathered outside both Buckingham Palace and Balmoral.


Politicians and other public figures from around the world expressed their deepest condolences.


Prime Minister Liz Truss said: “The death of Her Majesty the Queen is a huge shock to the nation of the world.” She noted the Queen as “The rock on which modern Britain was built… Britain is a great country today because of her, and because of her stability and strength”.


First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said: “The death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth is a profoundly sad moment for the UK, the Commonwealth and the world. Her life was one of extraordinary dedication and service. On behalf of the people of Scotland, I convey my deepest condolences to the King and the Royal Family”.


Other world leaders expressed condolences, including the President of the United State of America Joe Biden and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


King Willem-Alexander, Queen Mázima and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands said, “We remember Queen Elizabeth II with deep respect and great affection”.


Nicholas Witchell, the royal correspondent for the BBC said: “This is a…moment of solemnity and national sadness”.


“It is hard to fully take it in…millions of people I think as they hear this news will feel a sort of personal loss”.


He commented that this is “Not just the death of the longest living monarch”, but is the end of “one of the most remarkable reigns in one of the thousand plus years of the British monarchy”.


He also labelled her the “still, calm centre of stability… whilst so much around her changed”.


The crown has now passed to Charles, who is now King Charles of England, alongside his wife, Queen Consort, Camilla.


The Queen ruled for a longer period of time than any other British Monarch. She celebrated her 70th anniversary of rule on 6 February 2022, and public celebrations were held over a bank holiday weekend in June.


Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born on 21 April 1926. She was the first child of Albert, Duke of York, second son of George V, and his duchess, the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.


On the death of George V in 1936, his eldest son became Edward VIII. However, after his abdication following his marriage to a divorcee, the younger Duke of York became King George VI.


She married the Duke of Edinburgh on 20 November 1947 and had been married for almost 68 years. Their first child, Charles, was born in 1948, followed by her daughter Anne in 1950. Prince Andrew followed in 1964, and Edward in 1960.


Her coronation in 1952 was watched by an estimated 27 million people in Britain and listened to on the radio by 11 million. On the night of her coronation, she said that throughout her service: “I shall strive to be worthy of your service”.


In a statement, the palace said, “The Queen died at Balmoral Palace surrounded by family and friends”. Nicholas Mitchell, the royal correspondent said: “This is a…moment of solemnity and national sadness”.


“It is hard to fully take it in…millions of people I think as they hear this news will feel a sort of personal loss”.


He commented that this is “Not just the death of the longest living monarch but is the end of “one of the most remarkable reigns in one of the thousand plus years of the British monarchy”.


He also labelled her the “still, calm centre of stability… whilst so much around her changed”.


The crown has now passed to Charles, who is now King Charles of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.


In a statement from Principal Sally Mapstone, she said, “We will send letters of condolence to His Majesty The King, and our alumni, Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. A formal Book of Condolence will be opened for signing at College Gate in North Street, St Andrews.”


She noted that work and study will “continue as normal” but that “extra-curricular events and activities however should be considered carefully,” recognising that the UK has now entered a formal period of mourning.


The statement also stated that the Chaplaincy was available for support to all those affected by the news.


The University of St Andrews official Facebook page has changed their cover photo to a black panel. The Students' Association has cancelled this evening’s Freshers Week event, Late Night Club Night.




Image: WikiMedia Commons


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