World leaders pay tributes, Britain mourns, Charles becomes King

World leaders pay tributes, Britain mourns, Charles becomes King

Queen Elizabeth II

9th September 2022

 Born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, she emerged the Queen in February 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI and reigned for 70 years.

 The Queen’s demise was greeted with stunned silence around the world followed by reactions from global leaders and ordinary people as the flag was lowered at Windsor Castle, the Queen’s beloved home.

Castle staff covered visitor signs in black paper as crowds gathered and laid flowers and candles.

The Queen’s children – Charles, Princess Anne, 72, Prince Andrew, 62, and Prince Edward, 58, flocked to her Scottish Highland retreat, Balmoral. They were joined by Charles’s sons, Prince William, and his estranged brother, Prince Harry.

The new King said his mother’s death was a moment of “the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”

Charles is the oldest and longest-serving heir-apparent in British history. He will be the oldest person, at 73, to become King in British history.

Into her 90s, the Queen maintained a rigorous calendar of events and appearances which reportedly numbered more than 400 in her diamond jubilee year.

 Her public life was defined by public duties, some seemingly trivial, such as handing out symbolic alms, others mantled with pomp and pageantry — the opening of Parliament or the hosting of a state dinner.

During her long reign, Elizabeth managed to keep her personal life intact and avoided private scandal and public controversy.

She also did not grant interviews, publish her journals or involve herself in party politics.

 But by then, Edward (called David by his family) was in love with the American socialite Wallis Simpson, whose impending divorce — her second — made her unfit to become his queen in the eyes of the British establishment, including the Church of England.

 However, Edward abdicated, and his brother became King George VI.

 Suddenly, at the age of 10, Elizabeth lived with a king for a father and the likelihood that she would be queen one day.

 She was tutored in British history, and the lives of the monarchs and their fraught relationships with Parliament became less an academic lesson than a map for navigating public life.

 She was taught to drive a carriage and to ride sidesaddle, a skill needed later when she reviewed her troops.

The Queen, who was survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren, steered the monarchy through turbulent times, as Britain’s Empire ended and its place in the world fundamentally changed.

She was head of state of the UK and 14 other countries, including Australia, Canada, and Jamaica.

Leaders from around the world mourned her passage, describing it as the end of an era.

UK PM Truss

The UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen on Tuesday, described her as “the rock upon which modern Britain was built.’’

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau also expressed his grief over the monarch’s passage. According to him, the Queen’s service to Canadians would forever remain an important part of his country’s history.

He added, ‘’It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s longest-reigning Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet.

“She was a constant presence in our lives – and as we look back at her life and her reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion, and warmth. Our thoughts are with the members of the royal family during this most difficult time.”

French President, Emmanuel Macron tweeted, “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”

Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed sorrow over Elizabeth’s death on behalf of the war-weary people of Ukraine.

Former US Presidents, George Bush and Jimmy Carter were also effusive in their praises for the departed monarch, whom they said inspired many Americans.

Former American President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, wrote, ‘’Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humour and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance.

“Like so many, Michelle and I are grateful to have witnessed Her Majesty’s dedicated leadership, and we are awed by her legacy of tireless, dignified public service.”

Trump pays tribute

Another ex-US leader, Donald Trump, said he would cherish his time together with the Queen, recalling her generosity and sense of humour.

“Her Energy, dedication, deep sense of duty and firm belief in the glory of the United Kingdom, particularly in the most troubling and troubled times of her long and distinguished reign, are the lasting legacies for which she shall always be remembered.

“As the first British monarch to reach seven decades on the throne, her patriotic role birthed and sustained warm and enduring friendship between the United Kingdom and Nigeria.

“Her visits to these shores were always beautiful occasions and the respect and esteem with which she was always held by the Nigerian people helped to maintain the strong bond of friendship that subsists between our two nations.

“My family’s thoughts and prayers are with the new King, Charles III, the entire Royal Family, and all commonwealth nations at this time of mourning and sadness. May she rest in eternal peace.”

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