A royal tradition. Buckingham Palace, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, placed a message on an easel outside its gates.
The announcement reads: “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.” Hours before the statement was released, photos of a rainbow above the palace went viral.
The palace shared the same statement via social media Thursday, September 8. The palace also released a photo of the queen — a portrait taken in February 2006 in honor of her 80th birthday. Jane Bown (late photographer), took the photograph at Buckingham Palace. She included the shot in Exposures 2009, her book.
“I spent my whole life worrying about time and light. If I had time it was something, but if I had light it was even better,” Brown told The Independent before her 2014 death.
Friday, September 9, marked the start of the official mourning period in the U.K. as church bells rang at Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral.
The death of the sovereign, aged 96, came more than one year after the death of Prince Philip. The late royal, who was 99 years old, died in April 2021.
The official royal family Instagram account posted a heartfelt message to her husband one day after his passing. The post also featured a photo of the couple who were married in November 1947.
“At The Queen’s Coronation in 1953, The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be Her Majesty’s ‘liege man of life and limb,’” the caption read. “The Duke was a devoted consort (companion to the Sovereign) for almost 70 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952 until his death.”
The message added a quote from a speech given by the queen during her wedding anniversary in 1997: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
The longtime monarch continued to mourn her husband and she chose to have a quiet birthday following his passing.
“The Queen had a somber birthday this year,” a source told Us Weeklyat the time. “She’s grieving the loss of her beloved husband, Prince Philip, and spent the day with her corgis. She spoke to family members who are rallying together to keep her company.”
The eight-day mourning period ended on August 8. However, the queen was still missing Philip. “Prince Philip’s passing has hit the queen harder than expected, but she’s remaining calm and collected,” an insider added at the time. “She’s strong and I’m sure she’ll pull through.”
Later, the queen thought about her loss and the outpourings of love that followed. “I have, on the occasion of my 95th birthday today, received many messages of good wishes, which I very much appreciate. While as a family we are in a period of great sadness, it has been a comfort to us all to see to hear the tributes paid to my husband, from those within the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and around the world,” she said in a statement shared with the public on her birthday. “My family and I would like to thank you for all the support and kindness shown to us in recent days. We have been deeply touched, and continue to be reminded that Philip had such an extraordinary impact on countless people throughout his life.”
One year later, the late royal was honored during the queen’s Platinum Jubilee by Prince Charles and Prince William. “Your ‘strength and stay’ is much missed this evening, but I am sure he is here in spirit,” the Prince of Wales, 73, said during his speech at the “Platinum Party at the Palace” concert in June, referring to his late father. “My Papa would have enjoyed the show and joined us wholeheartedly in celebrating all you continue to do for your country and your people.”
Following his mother’s passing, Charles is now king of the United Kingdom. William, 40, his oldest son, will be the first in line to inherit the throne. Meanwhile, The Duke of Cambridge’s children with Duchess KateNext up: Prince George, 9, Prince Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis (4)
Prince Harryis fifth in line of succession.