Queen Elizabeth II Dies: England Loses its Longest Reigning Monarch

by Kaitlyn Hladik '25 on September 15, 2022
News Staff

National and Global News

The news of Queen Elizabeth II’s death was announced on Sept. 8, 2022 by Buckingham Palace. The UK’s longest-reigning monarch, who presided over the country for seven decades, died at the age of 96.

Sean Coughlan, a royal correspondent, in conjunction with George Bowden from BBC News, reported early on Sept. 8 that illness had struck the Queen.  

The Queen’s doctors became concerned for her health, leading them to place her under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Her two eldest children, then Prince Charles and Princess Anne, as well as other members of her extended family, joined her at the estate, sparking worry among the population. Her younger children, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, along with two of her grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry, arrived in Scotland shortly after the Queen’s death. 

Many international figures publicly commented on the Queen’s illness—including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden—wishing her and her family well. More grievances are expected at the recent news of the Queen’s death. The Queen’s eldest son, Charles III, will be crowned the King of the United Kingdom, marking the end of the New Elizabethan age that first commenced in 1952. The new King released a statement, mourning her as a global figure, a beloved Queen, and as a mother.

Following her death, the Royal Family—alongside a large English and international population—will enter a period of mourning. The new King and Prime Minister Liz Truss (who had been initiated by the Queen just days prior) spoke about the grief the world will feel and the role the late Queen played in preserving the strength of the English monarchy. Prime Minister Truss described the Queen as “a rock on which modern Britain was built.” 

In honor of all that she achieved, here is a brief history of the Queen’s life and 70-year reign as well as her accomplishments.

Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926 as third in line to the throne. In November of 1947, she was married to Lt. Philip Mountbatten. The following year their son, the now King Charles III, was born. Next, her daughter Princess Anne was born. In 1960, her second son Prince Andrew was born, and Prince Edward would come four years later. 

In 1952, her father George VI died and Elizabeth was set to succeed to the throne. The following year, the Coronation of Elizabeth II occurred at Westminster Abbey. Her coronation service was the first to be televised. 

In 1957, the Queen addressed the United Nations general assembly in New York City. She made her first state visit to West Germany in 1965 during a time of political and social transition. This visit marked the twenty-year anniversary of the end of World War II and symbolized the communion of the two countries. In 1969, a broadcast of the Royal Family offered the country a transparent look into the daily life of the family.

In June of 1977, the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee. In 1994, the Queen and French Prime Minister opened the Channel tunnel. In 1999, the Queen opened the national assembly in Wales, just one month before she opened the Scottish parliament.

Britain celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. Five years later, in 2007, Elizabeth II’s reign surpassed that of Queen Victoria (her great-great-grandmother), making her the UK’s oldest reigning monarch. In doing so, she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee. This year, she reached seventy years on the throne, marked by her Platinum Jubilee. 

The Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 received royal assent that year, allowing any eldest child to inherit the throne regardless of gender. This allowed her great granddaughter, Princess Charlotte, to be recognized as an heir to the throne by her grandfather, father, and elder brother.

The Queen leaves behind four children, eight grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Her legacy and contributions as sovereign of the United Kingdom will not be forgotten.