• Sunday, December 10, 2023
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Queen Elizabeth II is dead, Charles becomes King

Why the entire world stood still for Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, Queen Elizabeth II is dead.

She was aged 96. She ruled for 70 years.

According to reports from Buckingham Palace, she died peacefully with her loved ones beside her.

Prince Charles, the queen’s eldest son will lead the United Kingdom in mourning for 40 days.

The Queen who been under special medical supervision since Wednesday.

The Queen passed away at her Balmoral residence in Scotland where she has been spending her summer holiday since July, Buckingham revealed in a statement Thursday.

“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the statement read.

“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

She will be succeeded by her eldest son Prince Charles who is 73 years old who by succession becomes the King of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

It was revealed by the Palace that the Queen has been suffering from “episodic mobility problems” since late last year and that was why she withdrew from most public activities.

Profile of Elizabeth II, the longest lived Queen of England

Early life

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, officially Elizabeth II, was born on April 21, 1926, at exactly 2:40am at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London.
She was the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York – who later became King George VI – and Queen Elizabeth.
She spent most of her childhood at 145 Piccadilly, a London house taken over by her parents shortly after her birth, and at White Lodge in Richmond Park. She grew up closely with her mother, father, and her sister Margaret.

At age 10 she became the first in line to the throne, after her Uncle Edward VIII gave up the throne in order to marry the woman he loved on 31 December 1936, making his father King George VI to accede the throne.

In 1939, when Elizabeth visited Dartmouth with her family at the age of 13, she met Prince Philip Mountbatten, an 18-year-old distant cousin who she later married 8 years later. Elizabeth made her first radio show at the age of 14 on 13 October 1940, speaking of the efforts the public were making to keep the spirits of soldiers fighting in World War II high


The princess’ education was monitored by her mother, she was educated at home. After her father took the throne in 1936 and she became his heir, she began taking classes on constitutional history and law with Henry Marten, Vice President of Eton College. She also learned languages from several numbers of French and Belgian governesses.
The queen also learned art and music, learned to ride a horse, and became a strong swimmer. At the age of 13, she won the Children’s Challenge Shield at the London Bus Club.

Read also: Queen Elizabeth II’s health raises concerns


In 1947 she married her distant cousin Philip, duke of Edinburgh (1921–2021) who she met during her visit to Dartmouth with her family at the age of 13, with whom she had four children, including Charles, Anne, Prince of Wales and Prince Andrew.

Ascending the throne

The Queen took over the throne on February 6, 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI. She was in Kenya at the time, making her the first sovereign in over 200 years to accede while abroad.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned on 2 June, 1953 in Westminster Abbey. Her coronation ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey which makes her the thirty-ninth Sovereign to be crowned at Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth II in Nigeria

In 1956, Queen Elizabeth the II visited Nigeria, where she commissioned her bronze sculpture which was exhibited by Ben Enwonwu, a Nigerian sculptor.

The queen sat for Enwonwu in London for the art work which portrays her seated with her hands in her laps in 1957 and was intended to mark her visit to Nigeria in January and February 1956.

Enwonwu completed and presented the sculpture, at the Royal Society of British Artists exhibition in London in November 1957

The proposal for the statue was initiated by Enwonwu who contacted Alan Lennox-Boyd, the British government’s secretary of state for the Colonies. The statue was intended to sit in the Nigerian House of Representative prior to the independence of the Federation of Nigeria and the end of colonial rule in 1960.

The queen sat for the Nigerian-born sculptor on 12 occasions, having eight sittings held at a place and four at Reid-Dicks Maida Vale Studio.

A studio was created for Enwonwu at the Queen’s palace where he would spend an hour sketching and modeling with clay daily.

Due to the big size of the statue, Enwonwu later transferred to a studio belonging to the Sculptor in Ordinary for Scotland, William Reid Dick, in Maida Vale in west London where the queen sat for four days after sitting for 8 days in the palace.

Enwonwu created the Queen’s initial sketch in watercolours which captured her in frontal poses and a bust of Elizabeth as a measure to help develop her final pose, portraying her regalia.

The sculpture was cast in bronze by Giulio Galicie in London, a second life size version was cast in epoxy resin and was the one displayed at the exhibition of the Royal Society of British Artists in London in November 1957.