In her memory. Following the news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death at age 96, the U.K. is officially entering a 12-day mourning period.
Buckingham Palace confirmed Thursday, September 8th that the longest-reigning British monarch was dead. News of her death came shortly after doctors placed Elizabeth under “medical supervision” due to growing concerns surrounding her health. (The queen had been suffering from mobility problems for several months prior to her death. Her discomfort led her to miss some of her Platinum Jubilee events.
Referred to as Operation London Bridge, plans for how the country would react after the queen’s death were first established in the 1960s. In the years since, they’ve been updated multiple times.
Although the queen did some of the preparations for her death, her heir set many details in motion. Prince Charles. More modern details have also been accounted for in recent years, such as the changing of the royal family’s social media profile pictures to pay tribute to the late monarch.
The mourning period will see staff uniforms being changed. The BBC will cancel comedy shows and the British economy will likely suffer as the country experiences a period of great shock.
Born in April 1926, Elizabeth’s rule began in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI, and she served her country in the role for seven decades. She leaves behind her daughter, Charles. Princess Anne, sons Prince Edward Prince Andrew, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The monarch, ahead of her death, celebrated her 70-years of service with her family at Buckingham Palace. They were there to enjoy Trooping of the Colour on June 2nd. She was accompanied by Prince William, Duchess Kate and their three children — Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
While Prince Harry Meghan Markle also attended the event, they were slightly farther away, sitting with the rest of the extended royal family in the Major General’s Office, which overlooks the grounds of the parade.
Following the weekend’s opening festivities, Buckingham Palace revealed to Us Weekly that it was with “great reluctance” that Elizabeth would not be attending Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral the next day after experiencing some “discomfort.”
“The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” the statement read. “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.”
After the service, it became clear that the queen had withdrawn from the second and third days of Jubilee events including the Epsom Derby and Party At the Palace. Her absence at the derby marked the third time over the course of Elizabeth’s 70-year reign that she missed the horse race.
Prior to her death, Elizabeth was able to meet her great-granddaughter Lilibet for the first time during the Jubilee, which coincided with Lili’s 1st birthday. “Harry and Meghan visited the queen at Windsor Castle with Lilibet and Archie,” a source told Use exclusively at the time, noting that seeing the little ones “added some light” to the queen’s day. “She thinks they’re adorable and gave Lili and Archie gifts.”
The queen’s firstborn son and heir apparent, Charles, is now set to take on the role of king in the wake of his mother’s death. While his coronation likely won’t take place for months, his royal duties began straight away. He is now 73 years old and was just 4 years old when Elizabeth coronated him.
As she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in February, the queen looked ahead to Charles’ reign. She revealed that she wanted the Prince of Wales’ second wife, Camilla, Duchess, to be the title of Queen Consort.
“When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me,” the sovereign said in a statement to mark her 70th year on the throne. “And it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
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