Queen Elizabeth II of Britain has died, putting an end to her historic 70-year reign. She was 96 years old. Queen Victoria’s great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert, bought Balmoral for Queen Victoria in 1852. Balmoral was the Queen’s favorite palace, and it was there that she died. Children and grandchildren were all around her. Her eldest son, Prince Charles, Will take her place.
The Queen dies just under 18 months after her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9, 2021. The Queen celebrated her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year, which marked a record-breaking 70 years on the throne. In a rare personal statement about her accession, she said, “I still remember that day 70 years later as much for the death of my father, King George VI, as for the beginning of my reign.”
A statement from His Majesty The King: pic.twitter.com/AnBiyZCher
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
Celebrations started on Feb. 6, the day she officially took the throne and went on until June, when she appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on the first day of a long Jubilee weekend. The British people also got an extra public holiday to celebrate. But the monarch didn’t go to other Jubilee events, like a concert in her honor with Adam Lambert, Queen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Sir Elton John, after feeling sick during the Trooping the Color parade on the first day of the celebrations.
She only showed up for a short time on Sunday, when the party was over. In a ceremony at Balmoral on September 6, she officially named Liz Truss as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Usually, a new Prime Minister is chosen at Buckingham Palace in the capital. However, the palace said in a statement that the venue had to be changed because the Queen has “mobility problems.”
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. pic.twitter.com/VfxpXro22W
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
In pictures of the event that were made public, the Queen was seen using a cane but smiling as she shook Truss’s hand. The next day, she had to cancel a meeting with ministers because her doctors told her to get some rest. The Queen was the world’s oldest monarch when she took the throne in 1952. In 2015, she also beat Queen Victoria’s record for being the British monarch who had been in power the longest.
She is the second-longest reigning monarch in history, after Louis XIV of France, who was king for 72 years. During her reign, 15 British prime ministers, starting with Winston Churchill, worked for her. She also met 13 of the last 14 U.S. presidents, from Harry S. Truman to Joe Biden, as well as many heads of state from other countries.
(Lyndon Johnson was the only president she did not meet.) When she was born in Mayfair, London, on April 21, 1926, to the Duke and Duchess of York, no one thought she would become queen. When her uncle, Edward VIII, gave up the throne in 1936 because he was in love with an American divorcee named Wallis Simpson, Elizabeth’s father, George VI, became king.
This put Elizabeth, who was 10 years old at the time, in the direct line of succession. “The King’s Speech,” which won an Oscar and starred Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter, and “W.E.,” Madonna’s biopic of Wallis Simpson, both show how Edward VIII gave up his throne. Princess Elizabeth married Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947. They had four children together. Charles, Prince of Wales, and Anne, Princess Royal, was born before she became queen.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, were born almost ten years later, while she was queen. On February 6, 1952, King George VI died suddenly from coronary thrombosis. He was 56 years old. At the time, Princess Elizabeth was on a tour of Kenya and became Queen Elizabeth II. The next year, when she was crowned at Westminster Abbey, it was the first time in British history that the event was shown on TV.
She kept doing her royal duties until the end of her reign, but her health limited her in the last few years of her life. She used a walking stick and, according to local reports, a wheelchair sometimes, though she was never seen in a wheelchair in public.
In February 2022, Buckingham Palace confirmed to royal reporters that the Queen had COVID-19 in a statement to them. A statement from the palace said, “Her Majesty is feeling like she has a mild cold, but she plans to do light work at Windsor over the next week.” “She will keep getting medical care and will follow all the rules.” But it looked like she was getting better.
During her long and eventful reign, the Queen became a part of everyday life. She was the most photographed woman in history. She was on the cover of Time magazine when she was three, which was the first of many times she was on the cover. She was also shown on the big screen, small screen, stage, in music, and in art.
She is the main focus of “The Crown,” a Netflix original series that follows the Queen from the 1940s to the present day and looks at her relationships with Her Majesty’s prime ministers and other people, both inside and outside the Royal Family. Over the course of the show’s six seasons, which each cover about a decade in her life, she has been played by three different actors: Claire Foy, who won a Golden Globe for her role, and Olivia Colman, who won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy, and Imelda Staunton, who will play the queen in her 70s and 80s in the show’s fifth and sixth (and likely last) season. The first episode of Season 5 will be on Netflix in November 2022.
In the 2006 movie “The Queen,” which was written by “The Crown” creator Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Frears, Helen Mirren also played the British queen in a memorable way. The movie was about what happened after Princess Diana died, which was a very sad time for the British royal family. Mirren won an Oscar for best actress for her role in the movie. Mirren went on to play Elizabeth again in “The Audience,” which was a hit on both the West End and Broadway.
Stella Gonet played the Queen in the movie “Spencer,” which also starred Kirsten Stewart as her daughter-in-law Princess Diana. The Oscar-winning movie “The King’s Speech” told the story of the Queen’s early life. The 2015 movie “A Royal Night Out” told a made-up story about the night in 1945 when Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret were sneaked out of Buckingham Palace to join the crowds celebrating V-E Day on the streets of London.
In 2016, Steven Spielberg’s movie “The BFG,” based on a book by Roald Dahl, had the Queen as a character, and “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!” took a direct shot at the British monarch. In the 1988 comedy, Leslie Nielsen’s character saves the Queen from what he thinks is an attempt to kill her with a running tackle. The actor who plays her in the movie, Jeannette Charles, has made a career out of playing royalty. Over the course of 40 years, she has played Queen Elizabeth in about 20 movies and TV shows.
In the 2015 movie “Minions,” the Queen’s Cinderella-like royal coach was used to try to steal her crown. In a 2003 episode of “The Simpsons” called “The Regina Monologues,” Homer Simpson hit the back of the royal coach. In a 2012 episode of “Family Guy,” a high-speed chase of her carriage ends with a royal death. In a 2007 episode of “South Park,” she killed herself while sitting on the throne, which caused a lot of anger. She was also in “The Prince,” a short-lived animated comedy show by Gary Janetti that ran for one season on HBO Max.
In 2022, the Queen was a guest star in a video with Paddington Bear, which made people all over the world happy. In the skit, which was filmed at Windsor Castle and shown before the Platinum Jubilee concert, Paddington is invited to the Queen’s home for tea, where chaos breaks out. At one point, the bear pulls a marmalade sandwich out of his hat and gives it to Her Majesty, telling her, “I always keep one in case of an emergency.”
The Queen says, “So do I,” and then opens her handbag to take out her own marmalade sandwich. The two-minute video went viral quickly, and it showed the Queen’s great-grandchildren, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte, laughing and smiling as they watched it. The cameo was similar to what the Queen did at the London Olympics in 2012 when she was shown in a video at the opening ceremony. In the clip, she meets Daniel Craig (as James Bond) at Buckingham Palace, and he leads her to a helicopter waiting nearby.
They are shown flying over London toward the Olympic stadium, and then it looks like Craig and the Queen jump out of the helicopter with parachutes on their backs. As the video played in the stadium, a real helicopter appeared in the sky, and two people jumped out of it. One of them was wearing a royal peach dress. The Queen then showed up in person at the ceremony wearing the same dress. As she took her seat in the stadium, the crowd cheered loudly.
Even though the Queen made cameos and a lot of public appearances, she was still a mystery to her people. She did this on purpose to give off an air of power and mystery. She didn’t do many public interviews during her life, and she kept a low profile in an age of oversharing and public emotion. This was true even as the lives of her own children and grandchildren started to look like a reality show, with tabloids in Britain regularly reporting on their scandalous relationships and actions.
All of this made the few times she showed emotion even more powerful, but it also sometimes made her seem cold to the public. During her annual Christmas Day speech on TV in 1992, she said that the year had been “annus horribilis.” It had been a rough year. Three of her children had split up with their spouses: Prince Charles and Diana, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, and Princess Anne and Mark Phillips. Also, Windsor Castle had been badly damaged by a fire.
Five years later, when Diana died in a car accident in Paris, the monarchy hit an even lower point. During the outpouring of grief that followed, the Queen was called cold and heartless, and it took almost a decade for the royal family’s popularity to rise again. But it did bounce back, especially the Queen’s, as she continued to do her job as head of state and national symbol well into her tenth decade.
In a letter to the people of Britain in 2022, she said, “There is no manual for how to celebrate 70 years as your Queen.” “It’s a first, for sure. But the fact that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee has humbled and moved me deeply “I may not have been there in person for every event, but my heart has been with you all, and my family and I are still committed to serving you as best we can.” Queen Elizabeth II’s four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren, the youngest of whom was born in 2021, are her only living relatives.