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  • Sydney Umstead, Asst. News Editor

Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Sept. 8, serving as queen for 70 years and surpassing Queen Victoria in being the longest British monarch. The queen was 96 years old and began her reign on June 2, 1953. Her son Charles has now taken over as king and plans to continue his mother’s legacy as the country faces the loss of the queen and prepares for her funeral on Monday, Sept. 19.

Following the queen’s passing, England entered a “national mourning” which will last for 12 days. The funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, which is historically the place where kings and queens are crowned. The funeral will be available to watch through the BBC, and follows specific rules such as military processions and “lying in state.”

While the queen is “lying in state,” the public can go and pay their respects at the queen’s casket. There have been other tributes to the queen following her passing, including a vigil for the queen on Monday, Sept. 12 hosted by the king and his siblings.

The British Monarchy began in the year 827 with the Saxon Kings and faced many changes throughout the years as England continued to develop. By 1917, the monarchy became the “House of Windsor” and started with King George V, Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather.

In Queen Elizabeth’s childhood, it seemed unlikely that she would inherit the throne. Her uncle, Edward VII was next in line, and so Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret led rather normal childhoods.

When George V passed, Edward VII took the throne. However, in December of 1936, he renounced the throne to wed Wallis Simpson, whom the church did not approve of. This led to Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, becoming the new heir to the monarchy. King George VI became a beloved king and popular with the people.

During the reign of her father, the late queen witnessed various social and political adaptations, along with the troubles that came with them. By the time she was 13 years old, World War II had begun and her father was king. During this time, she began exchanging letters with Prince Phillip of Greece, whom she would later go on to marry. They were together for 74 years until he passed away in 2021.

At age 27, she was crowned the new queen of England. The BBC states of Queen Elizabeth, “Her commitment to the commonwealth was constant.” The Queen played an active role in the community, as well as facing personal and private hardships such as the passing of her daughter-in-law, Princess Diana, in 1997.

Right now,England is facing a great loss, and TimeOut reports that on Sept. 9, many citizens showed up to Buckingham Palace and other royal spots to pay homage and respect to the late queen. Other world leaders took to Twitter to express their sadness and grief over the queen’s death.

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