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Queen Elizabeth II dead at 96

Britain Queen Jam Sandwiches
(Kirsty O’Connor/Pool Photo via AP, File)

(LONDON, ENGLAND) –  Without expressing an opinion, Queen Elizabeth II was liked by everyone worldwide.  She was as constant as the North Star for Great Britain.

The light in Her Majesty’s star burned brightly for 96 years until finally dimming today, September 8, 2022.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, officially Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other realms and territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, died with her family by her side at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Elizabeth and the duke, Philip, were in Australia and were enroute to Kenya when news reached them of her father, the king’s death on February 6, 1952.  As the eldest daughter, she ascended to the throne.

During her seven-decade reign, Queen Elizabeth II has met 13 U.S. presidents, the last of whom was President Joe Biden, on June 13, 2021.

Born in April of 1926, Elizabeth was crowned Queen on June 2, 1953. She was the longest reigning monarch ever in Britain and as Queen she has been served by 15 UK Prime Ministers.

The Queen endeared herself to her people with her love of Corgis and could be seen driving around London in her Mini Cooper as the only person in the UK allowed to drive without a license.

Prince Charles became heir apparent and he was named Prince of Wales on July 26, 1958.  He was by his mother’s side at the time of her passing.

The height of the monarchy, Prince Charles famously married Princess Diana July 1981 and then their separation and later divorce in 1996 further eroded support for the royal family.

TV-Charles and Diana Miniseries
FILE – This is July 29, 1981 file photo of Britain’s Prince Charles kisses his bride, Princess Diana , on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, after their wedding. FX has announced a 10-episode series that will spotlight the doomed royal couple Charles and Diana. It is scheduled to air in 2018. No cast members were disclosed by the network. (AP Photo, File )

Criticism intensified following Diana’s death in 1997, especially after Elizabeth initially refused to allow the national flag to fly at half-staff over Buckingham Palace.

She was perceived as antiquated and unfeeling.

Britain Princess Diana Funeral
FILE – In this Sept. 6, 1997, file photo, Princess Diana’s casket is carried out of Westminster Abbey after her funeral in London. It has been 20 years since the death of Princess Diana in a car crash in Paris and the outpouring of grief that followed the death of the “people’s princess.” (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

Elizabeth referred to 1992 as the royal family’s “annus horribilis.” Prince Charles and Princess Di separated, as did Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, duchess of York.  Also, her sister Anne divorced, and a fire gutted the royal residence of Windsor Castle.

But through it all, the Queen ruled with an even and steady temperament.  She also displayed a lighter side when she and Daniel Craig had one of the most memorable Olympics moments ever at the opening ceremony for the 2012 London Games to the surprise of the entire royal family.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the London Olympics a video starring the Queen was produced for the opening ceremony that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series.

Actor Daniel Craig, playing Bond, escorted the queen to a helicopter to perform a base jump over London Stadium.

“The queen never told her family she was doing it. That was one of the stipulations, that she agreed to be part of it,” production stage manager Sam Hunter told BBC. “So, if you actually see when she comes and she takes her seat, you can see her family go, ‘Ah, nice one.’”

The London opening ceremony was watched by over one billion people worldwide and set records for the most watched Olympics opening ceremony in both the U.K. and the United States.

Upon Queen Elizabeth’s death, Prince Charles immediately became king.

An “Accession Council,” consisting of the group of advisors to the sovereign known as the Privy Council, will convene at St. James’s Palace in London to formally recognize the transition and proclaim Charles as the monarch.

King Charles will then take an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland (this is because the sovereign is only the head of the Church of England, not the Presbyterian Church of Scotland).

Parliament will then be recalled for its members to take oaths of allegiance.

Then Charles will be crowned king in a coronation ceremony, which is a religious ceremony.

The ceremony is traditionally presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey, and takes place several months after the last monarch’s death to allow for a period of mourning, according to the royal family’s website.

Then the big question, will Camilla be Queen?   At first, Charles’ second wife will be named Queen Consort.

However, “The longer the couple is married before Charles’s ascension to the throne, and the greater Camilla’s public profile, the more likely she is to be formally styled queen when Charles becomes king,” according to royal watchers.

Once Charles becomes King, Prince William will take on new titles, including “King-in-waiting.”

“William becomes Duke of Cornwall when Charles becomes king, and will be formally named Prince of Wales,” according to royal experts.

Queen Elizabeth lived by the motto, “never complain, never explain. “ A concept Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have not grasped. Harry was on his way to Scotland when his grandmother passed. His wife was not with him. Markle remained behind in London.  Kate Middleton was also not beside her husband, Prince William.

Elizabeth is survived by four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.