I was saddened to hear the news today about the passing of Britain’s longest reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, at the age of 96.
Canada is a member of the British commonwealth and was actually the first among the several original Dominions at the time of the Balfour Declaration of 1926 and the Statute of Westminster 1931 to join this group. It has been a record 70 years on the throne, and whenever I think of the British monarchy, three things come to mind: the Queen’s iconic smile, the story behind Princess Diana, and the wedding celebrations of her two grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The statement released from Buckingham Palace today shocked the world: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.”
Although we knew that the Queen’s health began deteriorating after the death of ‘her rock’ Prince Philip, this was still a shock to many. Especially since the Queen was a symbol of wisdom, compassion, and warmth to many.
Back on June 2, 1953, Elizabeth became the Queen, taking the throne upon the death of her father, King George VI. That coronation broadcast was actually a historical turnout with over 27 million people watching it live in the United Kingdom alone.
Queen Elizabeth II has made several other historical moments in the history the United Kingdom. She joined the women’s branch of the British Army during World War II, becoming the first female member of the royal family to serve as a full-time, active member of the military. Also, the Windsor Castle, which was Queen Elizabeth’s primary residence until her passing, is the largest and oldest palace in the world still in use by a royal family.
Her passing was much more than the end of an era; her reign spanned numerous eras and generations actually. Many countries are honouring the late Queen Elizabeth II by lowering their flags at half-mast today, which is evident of the impact she had to so many people (and countries) across the world.
We will always remember your many years of selfless service. May your smile always watch over us.