Portrait : the great lady of Buckingham says goodbye

England is in mourning. It is with a heavy heart that Buckingham Palace announced yesterday the death of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II.


If the name Elizabeth II is now known to all, nothing predestined her to ascend the throne.


Born on April 21, 1926 in London, Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland and the other Commonwealth kingdoms in 1952. But when she was born, she was only third in the order of succession, behind her uncle and her father, Prince Albert. However, only a few months into her reign, her uncle Edward VIII abdicated and gave way to his brother, the future Prince George VI, father of Elizabeth II.


It was then that the life of the young princess took a completely different turn. At an age when young girls play with dolls and have tea with their stuffed animals, the young Elizabeth became the heir to the British crown at the age of 10.


A queen like no other


15 years later, after the sudden death of her father, she took her place on the throne, thus becoming the youngest queen in the history of England. Her coronation, on June 2, 1953, was the very first to be broadcast on television. A media event that crystallized the beginning of the infatuation of the English around their monarch, which lasted for decades.


During her reign, the Queen has had to show resilience. She has seen 15 different prime ministers come and go, withstood much criticism of the royal family from the British press and overcome difficult times such as the death of her daughter-in-law Princess Diana, or the death of her husband last year.


In 2015, she became the longest reigning British monarch. Last June, she celebrated her platinum jubilee, which marked the 70th anniversary of her ascension to the throne. Two months earlier, in March, the Queen said in a letter to the British people: “In this, my Platinum Jubilee year, it has been my pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to service.


Despite her advanced age, Lilibeth, as she is known to the royal family, has always refused to abdicate. However, the coronation of Prince Charles, her son, and the protocol planned for the occasion have already been meticulously defined many years ago.


According to the royal biographer Christopher Wilson: “This operation has been called Golden Orb, it is a mixture between what tradition wants and the choices of the future king” before adding that “this operation goes far beyond the coronation, it is the first days of the life of Charles as king that are detailed.


A rather calm and controlled transfer of power. The heirs to the throne have been for years a great support for the Queen, taking part in the obligations she had to face. Prince Charles and Prince William, as well as their respective wives, have been asked on many occasions to replace the Queen at short notice, on the occasion of royal festivities.




Featured photo : ©Wikimedia commons

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