Britain’s longest-serving monarch has fallen.
Queen Elizabeth II who, in 1952, ascended to the throne at the age of 25 and in June of 2022, celebrated her Platinum Jubilee which symbolized 70 years of her being queen, has died. Due to the early death of her father, King George VI, in ’51, the Queen that most of us today have known all our lives was coronated in the following year at Westminster Abbey. In the wake of Elizabeth’s death, the one to now take her place is her eldest son Charles, the Prince of Wales. Now the current king at age 73, he will be titled, King Charles III as on Thursday, September 8th, while surrounded by family, Queen Elizabeth II “died peacefully” at her estate, Balmoral Castle, at the age of 96.
Since then, Operation London Bridge has begun.
Throughout her seven-decade reign, Elizabeth had seen history made a number of times. In the year of her being crowned Queen, she witnessed on May 2 the commencement of the world’s first commercial jet service. She saw Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine declared “safe, effective, and potent” in April 12, 1955; the Launch of Sputnik1 on October 4th, 1957; approval for the first birth-control pill in the US – Enovid-10 (May 9. 1960); the beginning of China’s Cultural Revolution (May 16, 1966); the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (April 4, 1968); Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as the first two humans on the moon (July 20th, 1969); the end of the Vietnam War (April 30, 1975); the Fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989); the Apartheid dismantled (April 27, 1994); the 9/11 Attacks (September 11, 2001); and COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic (March 11, 2020).
So after all that, what happens after the sudden (yet not unexpected) passing of the former Queen of England? Upon her death, the day that the queen passes away will be known as D-Day, where her private secretary will call the prime minister to announce: “London Bridge is down.” This news will then be shared with the governments where the queen is also their head of state: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belize, and the Caribbean islands of Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, the Bahamas, and Antigua and Barbuda. Once those governments have been notified, the news will be shared with the dozens of other countries that make up the Commonwealth. Information will then be sent to the U.K. Press Association and major media outlets across the globe. The BBC will sound the national emergency alarm and news anchors will wear black. The BBC logo which is usually red will be switched to black for the occasion. Outside, flags will be lowered to half-staff while bells toll across the city. Prince Charles, who unofficially became the head of state will be required to make his first speech as monarch on the evening of her passing (September 8th, 2022). It is reported that four days after the queen’s death, a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall will be held where she will lie in state for four days ahead of her funeral. After dignitaries have visited the queen, members of the public will then be permitted access to pay their respects. Taking place on the ninth day will be the funeral, where bells covered in leather pads will ring in muffled tones. Then, to Westminster Abbey, the coffin will be transported where the funeral will take place from 11 a.m.
His Majesty The King penned, “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,” he said in a statement. “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.”
Following the service, the queen will be transported to Windsor Castle where, alongside her late husband Prince Philip and her father, King George VI, she will be laid to rest.