Britain’s longest-ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on Sept. 8 at age 96. The death sparked a 10-day official mourning period of the loss while the United Kingdom continues to move forward politically and socially.
“The palace announced she died at Balmoral Castle, her summer residence in Scotland, where members of the royal family had rushed to her side after her health took a turn for the worse,” stated an article from the Associated Press.
“When I heard the news it didn’t feel real because she’s been alive for so long you’d almost think she was immortal,” said junior Ashley McCrady. “Not only has it been a tragedy worldwide but it may also change the way the U.K. interacts with other countries under Charles’ ruling.”
The queen was appointed to the throne following the death of her father, King George VI in 1952 when she was 25 years old. She reigned for over 70 years.
Preceding Elizabeth’s rule, she served the U.K. as a mechanic and truck driver during World War II. She is renowned for handling drastic situations in the country throughout her lifetime, even beginning before her rule.
According to the Associated Press, “Her sangfroid was not dented when a young man aimed a pistol at her and fired six blanks as she rode by on a horse in 1981, nor when she discovered a disturbed intruder sitting on her bed in Buckingham Palace in 1982.”
In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak occurred, 68 years after the queen’s rule began. She lead the U.K. through the global health crisis.
“Prime Minister Liz Truss, appointed by the queen just 48 hours earlier, pronounced the country ‘devastated’ and called Elizabeth ‘the rock on which modern Britain was built,’” the Associated Press reported.
“The transition will be smooth as Charles III has been preparing for this role for several years. I do not foresee a disruption in the duties or central role of the monarchy in the political and social life of the U.K.,” said Dr. Gary Rose, Professor and Chair in the Department of Government at Sacred Heart University.
The queen’s 73-year-old son, Prince Charles, immediately gained the title of King Charles III following her death, though his official coronation has yet to take place.
“I think it will obviously directly affect those in the UK, especially with a pretty widespread dislike for Charles,” said junior MaryAnn Droesch.
“The new King will continue to perform the key ceremonial roles of the monarchy and will still meet routinely with the Prime Minister. I think however that the role of the British monarchy will be contracted somewhat within several countries outside of the U.K. that are a formal part of the British Commonwealth,” said Rose. “Thus, the reach and influence of the monarchy and Great Britain in general around the globe which is still significant will be reduced in the years ahead.”
At Westminster Abbey, the same church that she was married and coronated as queen, Elizabeth’s funeral took place on Sep. 19. The day was observed as a bank holiday, according to a press release from the U.K. government.
“I never really imagined the queen dying. Her reign was 70 years which is just incredible and unheard of,” said Droesch. “I was honestly shocked that she had passed away.”