Queen Elizabeth II is dead: London mourns

The Queen's death shocked even people in Great Britain who wanted to know little about her. Prime Minister Truss speaks of the end of an era.

People lay flowers on the fence of Buckinham Palace

Mourning for the Queen: People put flowers on the fence of Buckingham Palace Photo: Henry Nicholls

LONDON taz | Death often comes unannounced. In London, people couldn't believe it on Thursday evening, looking long and seriously at their phones. One or the other then assured the bystanders: "Yes, she is dead!" Then it became quiet in the otherwise loud and bustling booming city.

The BBC broadcasters all switched to one channel. There is a special announcement, it said. Then came the peaceful passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral this afternoon officially announced. The national anthem followed, which from now on is called "God Save the King!", as it was before 1952.

At 96 years and one increasing fragile health the death of the Queen was well within the scope of what can happen to such old people. And yet, even on Thursday morning, no one really believed it when the first reports came through that Her Majesty's health had deteriorated.

The Queen has always lived for most people in the UK. She was always there, somewhere in the back of consciousness, almost like a soul of the country, like an ancestral mother of the nation. Just three months ago, the United Kingdom had celebrated the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne.

But now, with her death officially announced after 6:30 p.m. local time, even teenagers who no one thought would ever care much for the Queen were exchanging news, tears falling.

Worrying omens

Everything still seemed good on Tuesday, but with worrying signs. Queen Elizabeth had received her prime ministers, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, to abdicate one and appoint the other – at her Scottish summer residence of Balmoral, a place she particularly loved. "Mobility problems" had been given as the reason why she did not carry out the change of government as usual in Buckingham Palace in London. She stood there in her salon in a Scottish skirt and white jacket, with the help of a cane, smiling and shaking hands.

Things got serious on Thursday. This was not only evident from the highly unusual announcement that Her Highness was now under medical observation, but above all from the fact that heir to the throne Prince Charles with his wife Camilla, his two sons Prince William and Prince Harry and his two brothers Prince Edward and Prince Andrew all made their way to Scotland. His sister Princess Anne was already there. The BBC suddenly went black, traditionally announcing a death notice. In Parliament, Speaker Lindsey Hoyle interrupted the debate and expressed good wishes, and there were similar ones from all corners of the world.

At around 6:30 p.m. local time, the palace finally confirmed that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had passed away in the afternoon. Prime Minister Liz Truss, who has just been in office for two days, spoke in a brief speech in front of their official residence at 10 Downing Street from the "end of an era" and offered the new King Charles III. the allegiance of the nation.

Longest serving monarch in the world

In the evening, the first crowds of people gathered in front of Buckingham Palace, where the flag was lowered to half-mast. Queen Elizabeth II is, by all accounts, the longest-serving monarch in the world after France's Louis XIV. And unlike the French Sun King, her time as queen from the age of 26 has been a life of service.

King Charles III, who is due to return to London from Balmoral on Friday, named in one Explanation The death of his beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, a moment of deep sorrow for him and his family. "We deeply mourn the passing of a beloved ruler and dearly loved mother. I know her loss will be greatly felt across the country, in the Commonwealth areas and by many countless people around the world.”

That is unmistakable. The country mourns what Liz Truss called "the rock on which modern Britain was built". An era comes to an end.

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