Bells rang across Britain on Friday, and mourners flocked to the palace gates to honor Queen Elizabeth II as the country prepared for a new era under a new king.
King Charles III spent much of his 73 years preparing for the role, planning to meet with the Prime Minister and address a nation grieving the only British monarch most of the world knew. . He ascends the throne at a time of uncertainty for both his country and the monarchy itself.
People around the world gathered at the British embassy to pay their respects to the Queen, who died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, as the country began a 10-day period of mourning.A 96-shot salute was planned in London – Once in each year of the Queen’s long life. Across Britain and her former colonies, her widespread admiration for Elizabeth herself was mixed with contempt for the institution and the history of her empire she represented.
On his first day of public affairs on Friday, the King will leave Balmoral and depart Aberdeen, Scotland, to meet Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was just appointed this week in London. In the evening, he addresses the nation as many Britons grapple with the energy crisis, rising cost of living, war in Ukraine and the impact of Brexit.
Hundreds of people arrived overnight to leave flowers outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, the monarch’s London home, or simply to stop and think.
Treasurer Giles Cudmore said the Queen was “always constant in everything, both good and bad.”
“She was the cornerstone of my life, my country,” he said.
Beginning with a special session in which Truss said the Queen’s death had caused an “outpouring of heartfelt grief”, lawmakers paid their respects to the monarch in parliament for two days, with day-to-day politics put on hold.
She called the monarch “the country’s greatest diplomat” and said her devotion to duty was an example to all. Even in his last days, he generously shared with me his deep experience of government.”
In the meantime, many sporting and cultural events have been respectfully canceled, and some businesses such as Selfridges Department Store and Legoland Amusement Park have closed. The Bank of England postponed the meeting for a week.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said the Queen’s death had brought “major changes” to Britain and the world.
“Some parts of our lives that we took for granted as permanent are no longer there,” he said.
But while Elizabeth’s death portends monumental changes, everyday life in Britain changed on Friday, with children going to school, adults going to work, and facing concerns over rising inflation.
Elizabeth was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and was a constant symbol of the turbulent times that saw the decline of the British Empire and the turmoil of her own family. I rushed to her side at the family’s summer residence in Balmoral.
On Friday, Truss and other dignitaries are expected to attend a memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London. Charles, who became monarch shortly after his mother’s death, will be officially proclaimed king in a special ceremony on Saturday.
After an all-night vigil in Edinburgh, the Queen’s coffin is taken to London where it rests for several days before her funeral at Westminster Abbey.
As the Second Elizabethan Era came to an end on Thursday, the BBC played the national anthem “God Save the Queen” and played a portrait of the monarch in full regalia when her death was announced. The Buckingham Palace flag was lowered to half-staff. And in one of the many shifts to come, the national anthem played on Friday was “God Save the King.”
The impact of Elizabeth’s loss is unpredictable for Britain. She helped stabilize and modernize the monarchy amid decades of enormous social change, but its relevance in the 21st century has often been questioned. The public’s enduring affection for the Queen helped maintain support for the monarchy during the family scandal, but Charles is far less popular.
“Charles can never take her place. It makes sense,” said 31-year-old London resident Mariam Sherwani.
Like many mourners, she referred to Elizabeth as a grandmother figure. Others compared her to her mother and great-grandmother.
But around the world, her death revealed conflicting feelings about the nations and institutions she represented.
In Ireland, some football fans cheered.
In India, once the ‘crown jewel’ of the British Empire, entrepreneur Dillen Singh has spoken of his personal grief over her death, but “in today’s world there is no place for a king or queen. I think,” he added.
For some, Elizabeth was Queen, and her coronation gleamed with a stunning 3,106-carat diamond shard pulled from a harsh South African mine.
A few years after she became queen in Kenya, tens of thousands of Kikuyu were herded into camps by British colonists under the threat of a local Mau Mau rebellion. Rejecting rule, she chose independence during her first decade on the throne.
She leads a power that has lectured African countries on democracy but has been criticized at times for denying many citizens visas to visit Britain and experience it firsthand. did.
The change of guards also comes at a difficult time for Britain. The country is facing a recession and just after a brand new prime minister takes the reins. Appointed by the Queen 48 hours ago, Truss called Elizabeth “the rock on which modern Britain was built”.
Several people gathered outside Buckingham Palace wept as authorities carried a notice confirming the Queen’s death to the wrought-iron gates on Thursday. placed a colorful bouquet at the temple gate.
World leaders expressed their condolences and paid tribute to the Queen.
In Canada, where the British monarch is the country’s head of state, her eyes turned red with emotion as she paid tribute to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “wisdom, compassion and warmth”. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted in “She stood for dignity and civility in public. I am grieving over her death.”
U.S. President Joe Biden called her “a politician of unparalleled dignity and enduring who deepened the bedrock alliance between Britain and the United States.”
Since February 6, 1952, Elizabeth has ruled Britain, which has rebuilt its lost empire from a devastating and financially exhausting war. It joined the European Union and then left. And made a painful transition into the 21st century. To those who ignored or detested her monarchy, she was a reassuring presence.
She became less prominent in her final years as age and frailty reduced her many public appearances. She remained at the center of national life when the jubilee was celebrated.
On Tuesday, she presided over a ceremony at Balmoral Castle to accept Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation and name Truss as his successor.