The Death of a Queen

Brits around the world mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth.

On Sept. 8, 2022, Buckingham Palace announced that the oldest and longest-reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, passed away peacefully at the age of 96 after a record-breaking 70 years on the throne. Hours earlier, the Palace had made an unprecedented announcement that her doctors were concerned for her health, something they had rarely commented on publicly out of respect for her privacy. When it was reported that all of her children had traveled to be with her, it became clear to the world that the moment everyone thought was inevitable had arrived: the Queen was running out of time. By that same afternoon, she was gone. The announcement of her death was met with an outpouring of condolences from people around the world, from world leaders to everyday citizens. 

President Joe Biden remembered her as “a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her.” 

The death of the Queen immediately set forth the transition of power to her eldest son, now King Charles III. Within hours, social media and the national anthem was changed to reflect the new king, and news anchors went from referring to him as the Prince of Wales to the King. 

Senior Alexis Owens commented on the change, saying, “It’s crazy how fast they jumped on him being king, like changing the [national anthem] and social media.” 

A lot of the family received new titles, with the title of Prince of Wales being passed on to his eldest son William, now heir to the throne, and his wife Kate Middleton receiving the title of Princess of Wales, a title not used since the death of Prince William’s beloved mother Princess Diana. Additionally, the King’s grandchildren from his youngest son, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, automatically received the titles of Prince and Princess, though it is unknown whether they will use them. 

Marc Vickers, director of the Troy Theatre Ensemble and Troy High’s sole British teacher, admits to feeling torn between his British and American nationalities. He revealed he once caught a glimpse of the Queen at a Remembrance Sunday event, and regrets not having the chance to have met her. 

On King Charles’ reign, he commented that “he will be very different as King than he was as the Prince of Wales. He was very outspoken and fought very hard for environmental causes, and he has to be a lot quieter as King, he’s not allowed to express himself as much.” 

At the age of 73, King Charles will not have as long of a reign, but the whole world is watching as he takes on the enormous responsibility of being the British monarch.