Queen Elizabeth II, the monarch who sat at the head of Britain and the commonwealth for seven decades, has died at the age of 96.
The world has been on high alert all morning as the Royal Family released notice that the Queen was under medical supervision. Adding to the concern was the fact that all member of the family had been called to Balmoral Castle, the Queen’s residence in Scotland. At roughly 12:30 p.m. local time (6:30 p.m. UK), the Royal Family released their statement that the Queen had passed “peacefully,” leading to the first shift in power for the British Crown in living memory. Flags across Britain were lowered to half-mast immediately following the announcement of her death.
Queen Elizabeth II, born on April 21, 1926, was coronated on June 2, 1953, at the age of only 25 and continued to reign through a Silver, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee, the most recent earlier this year in 2022. She is the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and only the sixth ruling Queen of England.
Over the course of her life, she did 23 tours of Canada, 22 of which were in her official capacity as Queen, and she ruled through the tenures of 12 Canadian Prime Ministers, beginning with Louis St. Laurent, and 15 British Prime Ministers, the first of whom was Winston Churchill.
Over the past few years the Queen has been slowly dispersing her many duties to her son Charles – who became King Charles III at the moment of her death – as well as her grandson Prince William. She suffered a blow in 2021 following the death of her spouse Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen has also had a myriad health issues and has been reported to be experiencing mobility issues, which led to her decreasing presence at public events.
According to the traditions of the monarchy, there will be an official mourning period of 10 days before her state funeral. A host of other protocols, known as “Operation London Bridge,” now immediately fall into place for the British Monarchy as well as the Parliament as they prepare for the official coronation of the new King.