HOLT, Fla., Sept. 8, 2022—Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom died peacefully in her sleep at age 96 at her home at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire.
Elizabeth reigned 70 years and seven months, the longest-lived and longest-reigning monarch in British history. She was the second-longest reigning sovereign in the world.
For many throughout the world, Elizabeth has been the only queen of England during their lifetimes.
Her son, the former Charles, Prince of Wales, will rule as King Charles III. He is scheduled to make a formal address tomorrow evening, England time.
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and next in line for the throne, will assume the title of Prince of Wales.
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born April 21, 1926, in Mayfair, London, England. Her sister Margaret was born four years later, in 1930.
During World War II, Elizabeth trained as a driver and mechanic in the British Army’s Auxiliary Territorial Service.
She married Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1947. He passed away in 2021 at age 99 and was the longest-serving royal consort in history.
Elizabeth and Philip had four children, King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
As second in line for the throne behind her father and her uncle, King Edward VIII, Elizabeth was not expected to become queen.
However, when her uncle abdicated the throne in December 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, the line of monarchy went to his brother. Her father assumed the throne and ruled as King George VI.
When her father died in 1952 after reigning for 16 years, Elizabeth became queen at the age of 26. Although she and Philip were in Kenya at the time, she was immediately proclaimed queen throughout her realms, which included seven independent Commonwealth countries—the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka).
When she began her rule, Winston Churchill was her prime minister. Since then, she saw 15 prime ministers come in go during her reign. Earlier this week, she formally appointed Britain’s latest prime minister, Liz Truss, to set the next British government.
During her 70-year reign, the queen also met with 13 U.S. presidents, from Harry S. Truman to Joe Biden, with the exception of Lyndon Johnson. Flags in the United States will fly at half-staff until the day of her internment.
Elizabeth dedicated her life to her country. During a speech on her 21st birthday, she stated, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
The United Kingdom and the Commonwealth is now in a formal state of mourning at the loss of its queen.
Operation London Bridge
ENGLAND, Sept. 8, 2022—The formal state funeral plan for Queen Elizabeth is known as Operation London Bridge.
The plan includes announcement of her death, the period of official mourning and details of the state funeral.
The plan dates back to the 1960s and Elizabeth made some of the more critical decisions herself. It has been updated through the years.
Operation London Bridge is being worked concurrently with Operation Spring Tide, King Charles III’s accession to the throne.
Sept. 8 – Queen Elizabeth passes away at 96
– Prime Minister Truss and other British governmental leaders notified
Sept. 9 – King Charles III addresses the nation
Sept. 13 – Queen Elizabeth is moved to Westminister Hall
Sept. 19 – State funeral in Westminister Abbey by Archbishop of Canterbury, Day of Mourning
Sept. 19 – Queen Elizabeth lies in state