A Queen’s Story

England’s longest-ruling monarch passes away at 96


Tribune News Service/used with permission

Queen Elizabeth II, wearing the Imperial State Crown, and the Duke of Edinburgh in uniform of Admiral of the Fleet wave from the balcony to the onlooking crowds around the gates of Buckingham Palace after the Coronation on June 2, 1953.

Finn Wilburn , Staff Writer

Let’s start this at the end: Sept. 8, 2022, in the lovely Balmoral Castle of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Queen Elizabeth II, England’s longest-ruling sovereign, passes away at age 96 of natural causes, according to Her Majesty’s death certificate.
Before we get into all that, I need to take you back to the dewy slopes of 96 years ago. On the second hour of the 21st day in April, on the 17th of Bruton Street in London, a future queen was born.
Queen Elizabeth II spent the majority of her childhood in a large townhouse in London with her younger sister Margaret, her mother, and her father, the Duke of York. Elizabeth and her sister did not grow up attending school, they were both taught in the safety of their own home by a governess.
The girls’ lives changed in quite dramatic fashion when their father was unexpectedly crowned king in 1937 after the abdication of his elder brother, King Edward VIII. The Duke of York took the name George VI. It was at this time that young Elizabeth and her family moved into the slightly larger homestead of Buckingham Palace.
When the Second World War erupted, the future queen defied her parents’ word and enlisted in the military at the young age of 16. She performed many duties in the war, such as driving trucks, working as a mechanic and serving as honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards. Elizabeth’s life changed again in 1952 when her father died of lung cancer.
Elizabeth was Queen, and thus began her seventy-year reign.
Hoover Social Studies teacher Mrs. Rashmi Chopra spoke on the Queen’s ability to adapt and learn over the course of her reign.
“Some trees don’t bend with the wind, they snap,” she said. “But some blow with the wind, some adapt. She made tough decisions; she was considerate and this gained respect, and she sustained that respect over seven decades. Once you put on the hat, you must live up to that nobility the rest of your life.”
Queen Elizabeth II was greatly respected by the peoples of the world, known far and wide for her discipline, strength and humanity as a leader.
Hoover senior Lauren Hobe studies the royals.
“I regarded the Queen very highly,” she said. “In my opinion, she was always charismatic. I often read stories about her encounters with the public, and they always seemed so funny. She seemed like a very humble person.”
Just minutes after Buckingham Palace announced her death, billions around the world knew, and within the hour people started to gather outside the palace to pay their respect.
“When I found out she died, I was a bit shocked,” Hobe said. “I was in AP Psych class and I heard people talking about her. I hadn’t checked my phone and I assumed they were just talking about her being sick.”
Queen Elizabeth II was the sovereign leader of England for more than seven decades, making her not only the longest-ruling British monarch in history, but also the second-longest ruling monarch of an internationally-recognized state in the world.
During her funeral on Sept. 19, it is estimated that more than 4.1 billion people around the world tuned in to watch her funeral. The Queen’s coffin departed Westminster Abbey at 2:22 p.m. and later arrived at the Wellington Arch, where the coffin was placed in a state hearse. As it departed for Windsor, a parade accompanied her to bid farewell. She was given royal salute accented by the National Anthem. Just a few short hours later, the Queen arrived at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, her final resting place.
In 1947, on her 21st birthday, the future Queen addressed her people: “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.”