The world came to a halt on Monday as the British Royal Family laid to rest arguably their most inspiring monarch.
Monarch Elizabeth was so much more than a figurehead, so much more than a queen. She was an institution, an emblem, a link between the past and the present.
The fact that Elizabeth sat on the English throne for 70 years is nothing short of extraordinary; the success of her reign, and the fact that she was adored throughout the kingdom, has been amply demonstrated by the honours paid after her death.
Indeed, not just the Royal Family has been mourning Queen Elizabeth during the last two weeks. No, millions mourn her death…
The Queen’s death was announced on Thursday, the week before last. Worrying reports had developed during the day suggesting that Queen was ill, and the seriousness of the rumours was proven when royals from across the UK and beyond began to flock to the monarch’s Balmoral residence.
Buckingham Palace issued the following statement last Thursday evening:
“The Queen died quietly this afternoon at Balmoral.” The King and Queen Consort will spend the evening at Balmoral before returning to London tomorrow.”
At 6:30 p.m. local time, the flag atop Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast, and an official notice announcing the Queen’s death was posted on the palace gates, as is customary.
Charles, the Queen’s eldest son and heir, has been crowned King of the United Kingdom and the 14 Commonwealth realms.
“The passing of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a time of tremendous sadness for me and all members of my family,” said King Charles in a statement.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of a beloved Sovereign and Mother. I know her passing will be felt deeply across the country, the Realms, and the Commonwealth, as well as by countless people around the world.”
“During this season of loss and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so universally held,” King Charles concluded.
On Monday, much of the world came to a halt to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth as she made her way to her final resting place. The burial was attended by 2,000 people, many of whom were international leaders and other prominent dignitaries, while the Royal Family was claimed to have held their own private service later in the day.
It goes without saying that the Queen’s funeral was a great spectacle, witnessed by millions of people throughout the world. They tuned in from every direction to mark the momentous occasion, and the sheer volume of coverage ensured that nothing was missed.
This includes the other members of the Royal Family, who were forced to stand for the duration of the event.
One of them was Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, Harry, who has been at the heart of a media frenzy since deciding to step down from royal duties with his bride, Meghan Markle.
Suffice it to say, the couple has strained relationships with the rest of the Royal Family, which was exacerbated by their candid interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they claimed racism toward their then-unborn son, Archie, and Meghan went so far as to say she had suicidal thoughts during her time in England.
Since then, Harry has returned to the UK, attending the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip, as well as the installation of a statue commemorating his late mother, Princess Diana, but his once-strong friendship with Prince William, according to reports, remains strained.
There were expectations that Harry’s time in the UK would be used to mend fences between him and his close family members, but only time will tell if that is the case.
Last week, Diana’s sons put on a united face as they visited members of the public at Windsor Castle to receive flowers in remembrance of their grandmother. Furthermore, they marched shoulder-to-shoulder behind the Queen’s casket numerous times throughout her funeral.
However, a body language specialist told the Daily Mirror that there was one unpleasant moment as the royals took their places in St. George’s Chapel for the Queen’s committal service.
William appeared to hold back his wife Kate and the couple’s two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, so that Harry and Meghan may take their seats first.
According to Judi James, a royal specialist, the gesture represented a moment of connection between the two dynasties.