For decades, Queen Elizabeth has been a staple of British life, and the worldview. As one of the last vestiges of a time long past, the symbolic monarch conjured romantic images of a life from years of old. The opulence, the wealth, the castles…The Queen wasn’t just a decoration for the British people, but a steady handed guardrail to their entire persona.
Now, at 96 years old, Queen Elizabeth is no more.
The longest-ever reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the only monarch most of her subjects have ever known, is over. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor died Thursday at Balmoral Castle, her estate in Scotland. She was 96.
The palace issued a black-bordered statement about 6.30 p.m. local time: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, 73, immediately became King Charles III upon her death. His wife became Queen Consort Camilla.
Another statement soon followed:
Buckingham Palace issued another black-bordered statement from “His Majesty the King,” shortly after her death.
“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,” the statement said. “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.
Earlier this week, Queen Elizabeth oversaw a major governmental shift as Liz Truss took over the role of Prime Minister, following a number of detrimental scandals surrounding Boris Johnson.