Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and head of the Commonwealth, died on Thursday, September 8, in Balmora
This Thursday, September 8, the flags are at half-mast on the roof of the iconic Buckingham Palace. Queen Elizabeth II has died at the age of 96. After more than 70 years on the throne, she gives way to her son, Prince Charles. The end of a historic reign, in many ways. For the past few days, Her Majesty had not been in the best of shape, and in the last hours of her life, she had been placed under medical supervision, at the request of her doctors who were concerned.
Although very weak and assisted by a cane due to mobility problems, the grandmother of Princes William and Harry would not have missed the opening ceremony of her Jubilee for anything. To everyone’s surprise, on June 2, 2022, the Queen appeared smiling on the balcony of the Royal Palace to the applause of the crowd. A standing ovation that reflected the love of the British people for their Queen. By taking her last breath, Elizabeth leaves behind an orphaned people.
However, nothing predestined her to live such a destiny. The eldest daughter of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, “Lilibeth”, as her parents called her, grew up in Mayfair, far from the glitz of Buckingham. As the third in line of succession, Elizabeth should never have ascended the throne of the United Kingdom. However, when her uncle Edward VII renounced his crown for the love of his sultry American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, her fate changed. The one who became heiress by force of circumstance was then only 25 years old when she was crowned queen on February 6, 1952. Only a quarter of a century and a heavy responsibility came to weigh on her young shoulders like a sentence to solitude. She faced it. Hesitant at first, she seemed almost drowned in her imposing ermine-trimmed coat at her coronation on June 2, 1953.
Elizabeth II: The queen of all records
Prince Philip was already at her side, grumbling from the shadow of the second row but resigned. He will have been her only folly: this handsome blond from Corfu without a penny to his name, whom her father, George VI, viewed with a bad eye. But Elizabeth was intractable and married him on November 20, 1947. She never changed her mind, not even when years later, it was rumored that the Prince Consort would be unfaithful to her. Despite the rumors, true or false, Philip will be her rock and her confidant during more than 74 years of marriage. Together they raised their four children, Charles, Anne, Edward and Andrew with the mixture of coolness and firmness that characterizes the education of English aristocrats.
Elizabeth was a monarch who was so attached to protocol that she was sometimes seen as insensitive, even disconnected from her people, reserving her greatest displays of emotion for horse racing and her corgis. But she understood perfectly the importance of stoicism in a sovereign who had lost his political power. It is precisely her imperviousness that has allowed her to cross the ages, preserving herself from fashion so that she never goes out of fashion.
While her descendants struggle to arouse the enthusiasm of the English people, Elizabeth has never ceased to be a popular figure, working smoothly alongside the fourteen prime ministers who succeeded each other during her reign, including Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. The Queen’s popularity extended far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom, and she was welcomed with fervor on every official visit. An expert in the art of concealing her sorrows as well as her opinions, she earned her iconic status like no other.
Elizabeth II deeply affected by the death of Prince Philip
During Elizabeth II’s reign, the British monarchy faced several crises, the most important of which undoubtedly came from her own family. Divorces, deceptions and other scandals, the Mountbatten-Windsor family has not been spared. However, one trial proved more insurmountable than the others. On April 9, 2021, the Queen lost the great love of her life, Prince Philip. The image of the Queen, wearing a hat as always, but this time tiny, almost shrivelled, on a deserted bench in St George’s Chapel during the funeral of the Prince Consort, is a testimony to the sadness that remains. However, she has always shown herself worthy to honor the memory of her late husband, as it was the case during the ceremony in tribute to Philip, on March 29, 2022.
Since her death, she had been less a monarch than a lonely widow: life without Philip had become dull for Lilibeth. The pomp and circumstance was no longer enough to fill the void. Even her favorite pastimes, such as pigeon racing and soccer games, no longer had the same flavor for Elizabeth. Still, Her Majesty never ceased to surprise. From her tender appearance with Paddington Bear to her pub project, she has always managed to establish herself as a stunning and amazing woman. After many wonderful years, the Queen has slipped into a reunion with her beloved, without hurrying, but without ever doubting this final journey. Proof that in the Mountbatten-Windsor family, love is a rift that is passed on from generation to generation. Queen Elizabeth II is gone. God Save The Queen.
Photos credits: Bestimage