The news of the day is that Queen Elizabeth II has passed…..and Charles becomes king…..
Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign is over. Buckingham Palace said Thursday that the queen has died at age 96. The news came after members of the royal family were summoned to her side at the royal Balmoral estate in Scotland by doctors concerned about her health. Elizabeth’s 73-year-old son, Prince Charles, will now become king, with his son Prince William second in line.
- The statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the palace announced, per the BBC. Referring to Charles and Camilla: “The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
- Her life: For a timeline of highlights from her life and reign, with photos, see Metro. She was crowned queen at age 27 in 1953 following the death of her father, King George VI.
- Big picture: The AP sums things up: “Since assuming the throne after the death of her father on Feb. 6, 1952, Elizabeth has been a symbol of stability as Britain negotiated the end of empire, the dawn of the information age and the mass migration that transformed the country into a multicultural society.”
- Big picture, II: “There is no analogous public figure who will have been mourned as deeply in Britain—Winston Churchill might come closest—or whose death could provoke a greater reckoning with the identity and future of the country,” per the New York Times. “Elizabeth’s extraordinary longevity lent her an air of permanence that makes her death, even at an advanced age, somehow shocking.”
- No Meghan: One notable absence as the royal family was gathering at Balmoral: that of Meghan, wife of Prince Harry. The pair, who no longer have royal duties, were already in the UK for a series of engagements. However, Harry was traveling to Balmoral alone, reports the BBC. On the other hand, Prince William also traveled there without his wife, Kate, who was remaining behind in Britain for the time being because it was the first day of school for their children.
- Failing health: Buckingham Palace has been relative sparse with details about the queen’s health, but it had been in decline over the last year. She recovered from a bout of COVID earlier this year, though the palace said it left her exhausted, per the Times. Elizabeth also had been using a cane of late as her mobility diminished.
And now for a few words from King Charles III……as well as a few others….
The new king of England’s first formal statement is, not surprisingly, about his mom. “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,” wrote King Charles III in a statement posted by Buckingham Palace. “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 added that he and other members of the royal family will be “comforted and sustained” by that knowledge.
At Glamour, Kathleen Walsh likes the tribute. “There’s no easy way to say goodbye to a beloved mother, so I can only imagine what it’s like to have to publicly mourn your mum the queen.” In the US, presidents and first ladies, both current and past, were paying their respects as well, per the AP and the Daily Mail:
- Biden: “Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock Alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States,” said the statement from the Bidens. “She helped make our relationship special.”
- Trump: “Melania and I will always cherish our time together with the Queen, and never forget Her Majesty’s generous friendship, great wisdom, and wonderful sense of humor,” said a statement from former President Trump. “What a grand and beautiful lady she was—there was nobody like her!”
- Obama: “Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity,” Barack and Michelle Obama said in their statement. “Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.”
- Clinton: “We will always be grateful for the kindness she showed us through the years, particularly during our visits to Buckingham Palace in 1995 and 2000, and for all she did to deepen the Special Relationship,” said former President Clinton, referring to himself and Hillary. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and all the people Her Majesty inspired throughout her lifetime of service.”
- Bush: “Laura and I were honored to have known her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” wrote former President George W. Bush. “She was a woman of great intellect, charm, and wit.” He added that “spending time at Buckingham Palace, and having tea with Her Majesty—and her Corgis—is among our fondest memories of the presidency.”
- Carter: “Rosalynn and I extend our condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the citizens of the United Kingdom,” said Jimmy Carter. “Her dignity, graciousness, and sense of duty have been an inspiration, and we join the millions around the world in mourning a remarkable leader.”
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”