Queen Elizabeth II is dead, Charles III. ascends the throne

Queen Elizabeth II is dead, Charles III. ascends the throne

The world’s most famous monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died at her Scottish residence in Balmoral on Thursday aged 96, ushering in a new era for the British crown to which she had dedicated her life.

The disappearance of the sovereign, whose health had been deteriorating for a year, has sparked great emotion in the UK and around the world. His son and heir ascended the throne at the age of 73 with the name of Charles III.

“The Queen died peacefully in Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen consort will remain in Balmoral tonight and return to London tomorrow,” Buckingham Palace said in a brief statement.

A symbol of stability that had unshakably weathered eras and crises, since the death of her father George VI. in 1952, when she was only 25 years old, rubbing shoulders with Nehru, Charles de Gaulle and Mandela, whom she called “my friend”.

On the throne, she witnessed the construction and then fall of the Berlin Wall and met 12 American Presidents.

She had just named her 15th Prime Minister Liz Truss on Tuesday, prompting a final photo, frail and smiling, leaning on a cane.

During her 70-year reign, the longest in British history, she fulfilled her role with an unwavering sense of duty.

She had been able to weather the crises of her kingdom and royalty with massive support from Britons, who flocked in their tens of thousands to see her on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a few minutes last June to celebrate her platinum Jubilee to celebrate his 70th farewell reign.

– “Loved Around the World” –

“I’m very sad, I feel like my grandmother is dead,” said Tonnie Cunningham, 35, when asked by AFP on the streets of London.

“She is the only monarch I have ever known,” remarks Margaret Caselton, 75, “extremely sad”.

TV and radio stations paused their programming to announce the death of the sovereign, who had been widowed since the death of her husband Philip in April 2021.

Portraits of Elizabeth II with a benevolent smile make the front page of British media sites. “Good night ma’am,” headlines The Sun. “The Queen dies peacefully at the age of 96 after 70 years of distinguished service, leaving Britain and the world in mourning,” writes the tabloid.

The Times paid tribute to the monarch whose “reign was marked by an unwavering commitment to her people and her country”. “Thank you ma’am…for everything,” writes the Daily Mirror, while the Telegraph simply headlines: “The Royal Family and the Bereaved Nation”.

“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of very great sadness for me and all members of my family,” said the new King Charles III. in his first declaration as sovereign. “We deeply mourn the passing of a cherished Sovereign and beloved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt across the land, kingdoms and commonwealth, and to countless people around the world.”

Charles had driven to Balmoral in the morning, as soon as the palace reported a deterioration in the monarch’s health, accompanied later in the day by his sister Anne, then in the late afternoon by his brothers Andrew and Edward, heir to the throne William. The latter’s wife, Kate, had remained in Windsor with their three children who were going to school.

Prince Harry, Charles’ youngest son, arrived in the evening without his wife Meghan. The California-based couple were scheduled to attend a ceremony in London on Thursday night.

On the steps of 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister paid tribute to a ruler who was “loved and admired around the world”. “The death of Her Majesty comes as a great shock to the nation and the world,” she said, urging Britons to “unite” behind the new king, with whom she spoke for the first time.

Tributes from political leaders and royalty have arrived abroad. Emmanuel Macron praised “a friend of France, a queen of hearts” who “forever marked his country and his century”. Joe Biden, welcomed by Elizabeth II last year, paid tribute to “a stateswoman of unparalleled dignity and steadiness” while Vladimir Putin underscored her “authority on the world stage”.

A minute’s silence was observed in the UN Security Council. The Eiffel Tower didn’t sparkle every hour in the evening. The flags of the White House, public buildings in the United States, embassies, military bases, and warships will be flown at half-mast at sundown until the day of Elizabeth II’s funeral.

– banknotes and stamps –

The death of the sovereign, who made limited appearances for one night in hospital in October 2021 and struggled to get around, opens a period of national mourning leading up to her funeral in ten days.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was not destined to be Queen when she was born on April 21, 1926. However, in late 1936 her uncle Edward VIII abdicated, preferring to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American.

Elizabeth’s father then becomes King George VI and she becomes heir to the crown. On February 6, 1952, on a trip to Kenya, she learned of her father’s death from cancer at the age of 56. She returned to Britain immediately and was crowned on June 2, 1953.

Elizabeth II was at her death the head of state of 15 kingdoms, from New Zealand to the Bahamas, which she traveled throughout her reign, always dressed in matching outfits, often in bright colours.

Above all, for the vast majority of her subjects, she is the only sovereign they have ever known, present on banknotes, postage stamps (which must change her face) and the subject of constant tabloid attention.

– Unity of Kingdom –

She preserved the institution despite several crises, including the 1997 death of Charles’ ex-wife Diana in Paris, which was pursued by paparazzi. Elizabeth II had been accused of a lack of sympathy for the immense emotions provoked by the disappearance of the “princess of the people”.

She has also remained silent in the face of sexual assault allegations against her son Andrew, who ended him by paying millions of dollars last March, and has remained stoic in the face of racism allegations against the royal family from his grandson Harry and his wife Meghan Markle .

The future of the monarchy looks more complicated for Charles, whose popularity is significantly lower. The British prefer the current Crown Prince Prince William and his wife Kate.

He came to the throne at a time when the unity of the UK was crumbling under the impact of Brexit, which has sparked a desire for independence in Scotland and intercommunal tensions in Northern Ireland. Even in the former British colonies that remained kingdoms, the colonial past was heavily criticized and republican tendencies strengthened.

Reference: www.guadeloupe.franceantilles.fr

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