Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II recently concluded a celebration marking 70 years on the throne as the Queen of the British Empire.  On September 8, 2022 Her Majesty died at the age of 96 in Balmoral Castle in Scotland surrounded by her family. 

More than just the monarch, the Queen was also the head of the Church of England.

With her death, the British Empire end its second Elizabethan era.  Her 70 year rule is the longest ever by a British monarch.  She ranks second behind France’s Louis XIV as ruling a country the longest.  Louis XIV became the King of France when he was only four years old.

As the official period of mourning begins, sporting events were cancelled and brought politics to a halt after the announcement of her death.

Her oldest son His Royal Highness Prince Charles will succeed her and will be known as His Majesty King Charles III and becomes the oldest person to become monarch of the British Empire at 73.  While she cannot be officially known as a Queen, King Charles’ wife Camilla can be known as the Queen consort; something Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth had expressed a desire as such.

No matter what the occasion or what protocol demanded, King Charles would always address the Queen as “mummy”.

During her reign, beginning with Winston Churchill a total of 15 different Prime Ministers have led the United Kingdom; the newest of which Liz Truss spoke on the Queen saying she was, “the rock on which modern Britain was built.  We are now a modern, thriving, dynamic nation.  Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed.

She added, “she was the very spirit of Great Britain – and that spirit will endure.  God save the king.

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “this is our country’s saddest day.”  For many British citizens, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is the only monarch they have ever known.

When she became Queen on February 6, 1952, at the age of 26, after the death of her father King George, the United Kingdom was still recovering from the Second World War.   Things like mobile phones, the internet, and space travel were still a part of the fertile imaginations of science fiction writers and filmmakers.

Even before she took the crown she promised British citizens that how ever long her life would be, it would be dedicated to the service of her country.

She was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor on April 21, 1926 to the Duke and Duchess of York.  Originally not destined to be Queen, the abdication of her Uncle Edward so that he could marry the twice divorced American Wallis Simpson; leaving her father George to become King George VI.

The first glimpse of how the future Queen would one day rule the realm, a 14 year old Elizabeth made her first public appearance via a radio broadcast  during World War II saying, we children at home are full of cheerfulness and courage.  We are trying to do all we can to help out gallant soldiers, sailors and airmen. And we are trying, too, to bear our own share of the danger and sadness of war. We know, every one of us, that in the end all will be well.”  And help she did as a Second Subaltern where she learned to drive and service heavy vehicles.

And on May 8, 1945; she and sister Princess Margaret danced in the streets of London in celebration unnoticed.

She married Royal Naval officer Phillip Mountbatten on November 20 of 1947 and for a time was a Navy wife and mother.  But while on a trip to Kenya, her father King George VI died at the age of 56, leaving a young Elizabeth to follow in his footsteps at the age of 26.

During her time as Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher was known as the “Iron Lady” but, seeing the Royal family through a variety of trials, tribulations, scandals, and tragedy; Queen Elizabeth’s stoicism was truly that of an “Iron Lady”.

While the world seldom saw any emotional or lighter side to the Queen, she showed that she did know how to have a little fun when she appeared to parachute into the stadium as a part of the opening ceremonies for the London Olympics and most recently having a spot of tea with Paddington Bear where she revealed she kept some marmalade sandwiches in her ever present purse.

Predeceased. By her husband of over 70 years, Prince Philip, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is survived by her children – King Charles, Princess Ann, Prince Edward, and Prince Andrew; eight grandchildren; and 12 great grandchildren.