By Tara Thompson and Corey Bennett
England’s longest ruler has tragically passed as of Thursday, September 8th. After a long reign of 70 years the queen of England, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary the II, was confirmed dead at Buckingham Palace. Her reign was the longest of any British monarch, and the second-longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country. The eldest son of the family, Prince William is now the first in line to the throne.
Earlier this week, Buckingham palace issued a statement saying the Queen’s doctors were concerned about her health and recommended she stay under medical supervision. Soon after, we learned her children were either already with her or flying in to see her before she passed at the Balmoral Castle, her favorite of her estates.
The Queen has been using the Balmoral Castle situated in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It has been a royal residence for over 150 years, and was first used as a holiday home by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The family has used it as a refuge since she was a child, where she took part in salmon fishing and deer stalking.
Elizabeth and her sister Margaret spent a majority of World War II separated by their parents and safely stationed at the Balmoral and Windsor Castle.
Malcolm Ross, the former Comptroller of the Royal Household, told the BBC that “It’s the wide open spaces. No distractions, no airplanes, no noise, no traffic. Just this lovely estate where she can freely roam everywhere.” “She can relax, with her dogs, just doing what she thought normal people did, and indeed what normal people do.”
Robert Hardman, author of Queen of Our Times told BBC: “She is unlike any other monarch in our history – she’s our longest-lived, longest-serving, longest-reigning monarch.” Hardman also added that her sense of public duty pre-dated her attainment to the throne in 1952, making her only 27 when she was crowned Queen. “She just stands for this constancy, this sense of permanence and stability… And I think over the years people have probably taken her for granted often… Suddenly, at times like this, we all realize… how precious she is.”
Elizabeth was born as the daughter of Albert, the Duke of York, and her mother, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-lyon. Her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated with her father on December 11,1936; because of this, her father became the king and in that time she became the heir to the throne.
Throughout her time growing up, her education was supervised by her mother, who had entrusted her and her sister to a governess, Marion Crawford. She was also taught deeply in history by C.H.K. Marten, afterward provost of the Eton College which was one of England’s largest independent secondary schools and happened to be the highest in prestige.
In the early months of 1947 Princess Elizabeth went with the king and the queen to South Africa. When she returned from her trip there was an announcement of her betrothal to her distant cousin Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten of the Royal Navy, who was formerly the prince of Greece and Denmark.
The people of England honor her death, and her country will miss her as Charles III is crowned King. “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family,” his statement read. “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.” The King continued, “During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held.”