Updated: Apr 29
Brian Gornick - Staff Writer - News
Queen Elizabeth II, the long-reigning British monarch who has long since been a figure of stability and royal status, passed away this afternoon at Balmoral Castle.
Born on April 21, 1926, Queen Elizabeth was the daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She became heir-apparent to the throne in 1936 when her uncle, Edward VIII abdicated the throne and her father became King.
She served during World War 2, training to be both a driver and a mechanic, while achieving the rank of second subaltern in the Auxiliary Territorial Service by the end of the war. She was further awarded the rank of honorary junior commander by the war's end.
Queen Elizabeth works to repair a vehicle during World War 2. photo: time.com
On November 20, 1947, Elizabeth married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and bore two children: Prince Charles and Princess Anne.
King George VI died on February 6, 1952, making Elizabeth the new queen of the British Commonwealth. She was away in Africa at the time, and flew back to London for her coronation. Choosing to retain Elizabeth as her regnal name, she was officially crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, in the first televised coronation of a British monarch.
Queen Elizabeth during her coronation. Photo: biography.com
Elizabeth traversed the British Commonwealth through many difficult times as the world was still reeling from World War 2. She was a major figure in the rapid decolonization of the British Empire during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Elizabeth further led the Commonwealth through the Falklands War, the Iraq War, and the Covid-19 Pandemic.
A major theme of Queen Elizabeth’s reign was her longevity. Elizabeth was the second longest reigning monarch in world history, just recently celebrating her platinum jubilee on February 6, 2022. Elizabeth ruled over 15 British Prime Ministers, and served as Queen during the offices of 14 different American presidents.
Queen Elizabeth rides on horseback alongside former U.S. president Ronald Reagen. photo: dailymail.co.uk
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth, the rule of the British Commonwealth now falls to her son, Charles III. No coronation date has been set at this time, according to Buckingham Palace.
The passing of Queen Elizabeth is a step into the future for not only the United Kingdom but the world. A British monarch hasn’t been crowned for over 70 years, and most of the world remember her as the only British monarch they have ever known. As the British nation looks to a new king to lead them during this time of uncertainty, the world will be right alongside them.