The UK is in mourning. At the age of 96, Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday afternoon, September 8, in Balmoral, in the Highlands, her Scottish summer home that she loved so much.
With his death, the British lose much more than an exceptionally popular ruler. I forgive more than one monarch who has known the longest reign in the history of the country: it will have lasted seventy years, from his accession to the throne to the death of his father, King George VI in 1952 – his platinum jubilee, last spring, was it was the occasion of a great national holiday.
The British also mourn a planetary figure, whose continuous and reassuring presence at their side since the end of the Second World War – on their television screens, on the pages of their newspapers or on their banknotes – had ended up making it difficult to imagine its end. At the end of the war, young wife and mother, she embodied this symbol of vigor that the country, bloodless, really needed. Still there, after the crisis of the Suez Canal in 1956, the dismantling of the Empire, the great strikes of the late seventies, the end of the Cold War, imperturbable despite the scandals and family torments, it had become this symbol of stability that was lacking in the Village .
Praised for her sense of duty and dignity, Elizabeth II has been reassuring, especially since the UK left the European Union, and as she is still seeking her place in the world and chaining governments. After Boris Johnson’s colorful mandate, that of Liz Truss, which began just three days ago, on September 5, is her fourth in six years. For all these reasons, the queen’s disappearance is likely to bring many feelings of loss, even emptiness, into the country.
A very unusual statement
His eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, immediately became King Charles III on the death of his mother, as is the national constitutional tradition. In a first statement to the country, the new ruler said that this disappearance took place “A moment of great sadness” for him and his family and that the loss of the queen would be “deeply felt” in the whole world.
From Friday 9 September a ten-day national mourning begins, as part of an operation choreographed for years by Buckingham Palace, called “Operation London Bridge”.
Newsrooms across the country gasped around 12:30 on Thursday when Buckingham Palace released a very unusual statement: “The Queen’s doctors are concerned about Her Majesty’s health and have recommended that she remain under medical supervision. The queen does not suffer and remains in Balmoral. “
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