British Queen Elizabeth II is dead – Charles is king

On Friday, Charles and his wife, Queen Camilla, plan to travel from the Queen’s country home in Scotland to London, according to the palace. According to a long-drawn-out plan, the king is expected to meet with new Prime Minister Liz Truss and make a televised address to the nation later today.

Queen Elizabeth II died “peacefully” on Thursday at the age of 96 at her Scottish country estate, Balmoral. She was in her 70s, longer than any other British monarch before her on the throne. Elizabeth II was the head of state of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and more than a dozen other countries, including Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Behind his father Charles, Queen’s grandson Prince William (40) is heir to the throne. Number two in line to the throne is nine-year-old Prince George, followed by his siblings Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Although Elizabeth had no political power as a British monarch, she was considered one of the most important figures of her time. With an unwavering sense of duty and steadfastness, she led Britain through major changes.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss, who recently took office, praised the Queen as “the rock on which modern Britain was built”. The Queen’s death came as a “huge shock to the nation and the world.” The country grew and prospered under her rule, Truss said.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Elizabeth II was admired around the world for her “grace, dignity and devotion”. She has offered a “reassuring presence” through decades of change. “The world will long remember her dedication and leadership.” “With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, one of our historical figures comes to an end, and with her a 70-year era in which she has stood for stability through the decades to this day. My heartfelt condolences to the family and people of the United Kingdom,” wrote Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) on Twitter.

There is also mourning in the Commonwealth countries: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern praised the monarch’s “unwavering sense of duty”. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese highlighted her calm demeanor.

Thousands of people gathered in squares in Great Britain on Thursday, laid flowers or sang the national anthem “God Save the Queen”. Many broke down in tears as the flag was lowered at Buckingham Palace. In the evening, the police removed barriers in front of the gates of Balmoral Castle so that citizens could lay flowers.

The Queen was also honored at the Venice International Film Festival. The British national anthem sang as the stars walked the red carpet. The Empire State Building in New York glowed purple and glittered silver as a tribute to the Queen. In Rio de Janeiro, the statue of Christ was illuminated in red, blue and white. In Paris, the lights on the Eiffel Tower were turned off at night to honor the Queen.

After the death of the British queen, numerous sports organizers also reacted and interrupted planned competitions or canceled them. Among other things, a golf tournament, horse racing and rugby games are affected, as well as at least the lower division football games Burnley against Norwich City and Tranmere Rovers against Stockport County scheduled for Friday. It was not clear from the published message of condolence whether the Premier League football games scheduled for the coming days would also be cancelled.

Years ago, meticulous plans were made for what would happen after the Queen’s death. Her state funeral is expected on Monday September 19. Before that, King Charles III. embark on a funeral journey across the UK.

Born in 1926, the Queen became Queen in 1952. At that time Great Britain was still a colonial power. In 1997 Hong Kong was handed over to China as the last major colony. The Queen later maintained contact with the former territories through the Commonwealth. She completed hundreds of trips abroad, including several to Germany. She last visited the Federal Republic on a state visit in 2015. Her stations included Berlin, Frankfurt am Main and the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

The most important trip is her visit to Ireland in 2011. This was celebrated as a gesture of reconciliation. The last time a British head of state had visited Dublin was before the country gained independence from Britain in 1911. However, the monarch always stayed out of political affairs. She also did not comment on her country’s exit from the European Union (Brexit).

Elizabeth fell in love with Philip Mountbatten when she was 13. The Greek prince from a Danish-German noble family was her great support throughout her life. The marriage lasted until Philip’s death in April 2021, when he died at the age of 99.

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