Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died peacefully at the Balmoral castle, her Scottish estate, on September 8, ending a reign of 70 years. She was 96. The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
Her son King Charles III (76) automatically becomes King, while his wife Pamela Parker becomes the Queen Consort. Said Charles in a message that the death of his beloved mother was a “moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that her loss would be “deeply felt” around the world.
Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was officially appointed by the Queen on September 6, said the monarch was the rock on which modern Britain was built, who had “provided us with the stability and strength that we needed”.
Speaking about the new King, she said: “We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much, to so many, for so long.The Queen was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, in Mayfair, London, on April 21, 1926. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was held on June 2, 1953, at Westminster Abbey in London, more than a year after Elizabeth, then 26, ascended the throne of the United Kingdom upon the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952.
Charles is also now head of the Commonwealth, a postcolonial group of 54 countries comprising 2.4 billion people. He is head of state in 15 of those nations including Canada and Australia, although the queen’s death is likely to stoke an already simmering debate in the Caribbean and elsewhere about ditching their former colonial overseers for good.