The longest reigning monarch in history, Queen Elizabeth II, died at age 96 in Balmoral on the 8th of September 2022.
In her 70-year-long reign, she saw a great socio-cultural economic change in the United Kingdom as well as across the entire world. Her reign as head of state traversed wartime hardship, the shift to the Commonwealth, the ending of the Cold War, and the UK’s membership and subsequent withdrawal from the European Union. She saw 15 prime ministers, starting from Prime Minister Winston Churchill to the incoming Prime Minister Liz Truss. It was her tradition to meet with the prime minister every week when they would discuss different matters behind closed doors.
Her death brought the nation to mourning as the union flag on Buckingham palace was brought down to half-mast signifying the death of the great Queen.
Following her death, “Operation London Bridge” which has been planned since 1960, was put into action. It includes well-detailed instructions on the operations of the palace and the royal members after her death. To secure a seamless transfer of authority, her son, Prince Charles, the royal family, staff, the 13 governments outside the UK, and the 36 commonwealth nations received the news, “London Bridge is down” over a secure line. Ten days after, Her Royal Majesty’s funeral arrangements will be put in place.
The news of the queen’s passing was transmitted throughout the world through the media. The customary red BBC branding changed to black, and all shows stopped. Prince Charles then delivered his official speech as King the next day. With great love for the Queen, all shops in the UK will be closed as well as the stock exchange, followed by a salute of 41 guns at Hyde Park in London. The new king has begun his tour to Belfast, Cardiff, London, and Edinburg, and as a sign of respect to the Queen, documentaries will be played.
Her casket has been taken to Westminster Hall after a military procession four days following her death. The new king, the royal family, and dignitaries will pay their respects to the Queen after which other people can do likewise.
The funeral day will be proclaimed a bank holiday where the stock exchange and all businesses will be closed. At exactly 11 am, the entire nation will be silent as the casket is taken to Westminster Abbey. The queen will be laid to rest beside King George VI, her father. One year following the funeral, her eldest son, Prince Charles will be crowned to “Zadok the Priest,” the Coronation Anthem.
There will be many changes during this time following the Queen’s death. For instance, her portrait will be replaced with the King’s on the British currency, passports, stamps, and military uniforms. The country will then have a new anthem, “God Save the King.”
This will arguably be the biggest funeral witnessed worldwide as it marks the end of an era.