The Death of Queen Elizabeth II

On September 8, 2022, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 years old. 

According to the Guardian, The Buckingham Palace stated that the Queen died peacefully at Balmoral, her summer residence in Scotland, that afternoon. 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after her coronation in 1953 | Photo Courtesy of Associated Press

Flags on landmark buildings in Britain are being lowered, and public royal residences are being closed to induce a period of mourning. The flag at Buckingham Palace has been lowered to half-mast after the queen’s death. However, the flags will be raised in the afternoon before being lowered back to half staff, in order to the new rule of King Charles III. The bells of Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral was also  rung Friday, September 9. In addition, ceremonial gun salutes will be fired in Hyde Park and at Tower Hill in London. 

According to the New York Times, Prince Charles, 73, is the heir to the throne and now the king. Therefore his wife Camilla has been named the Queen Consort, since she is the wife of the king. 

Photograph of, now, King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla, his wife | Photo Courtesy of

This transition of power has already occurred and it is part of a plan called Operation London Bridge, which has been planned down to the minute of her death. 

By the time the world knew about the queen’s death, Charles had already taken power and become king, according to Sam Knight from The Guardian, 

“Under British common law, the moment the sovereign’s death marks the moment the heir becomes the monarch,” said Knight. 

The transition of power and new rule will alter the national anthem to, once again, say “God Save the King”. 

Furthermore, Operation London Bridge had also formulated a plan, which involved the queen’s private secretary responsible for delivering the message to the prime minister, Liz Truss. This message was the coded phrase, “The London Bridge is down”, which meant that the Queen had died. The Foreign Minister was also then required to relay this message to Commonwealth leaders. Who was in charge of sending the news to the fifteen governments outside the UK where the Queen is Head of State, and to the other 38 countries of the Commonwealth. This then allowed for a stream of planned events, which includes the ten day national mourning period and a funeral that will take place on Monday 19 September.

According to BBC News, King Charles III will give four traditional public statements as he enters his new role (three are required by law). He will also host a political inaugural celebration at the first meeting of the Privy Council, that could possibly be televised. Later, he will make the accession declaration oath, which is a vow to maintain the established Protestant line of succession. The King will also make the coronation oath, that establishes his promise to withstand the rights and privileges of the Church of England. 

The life of Queen Elizabeth II marks the longest reigning British monarch in history. 76 years of rule have now come to an end. 

Written by Anabelle Greene

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