Queen Elizabeth II Dies at 96

Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch, died on Thursday at the age of 96.


Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch, died on Thursday at the age of 96.

  • She vowed on her 21st birthday to dedicate her “whole life, whether it be short or long” to service, a vow she fulfilled over the course of her 70-year reign.
  • Her son assumed the British throne as King Charles III. Charles III is the oldest person to take the throne at age 73 and is expected to address the British people later Friday.
  • His reign will begin with a whirlwind tour of the United Kingdom, his official accession, and a state funeral at Westminster Abbey expected to be attended by dignitaries from around the world.
  • New Prime Minister Liz Truss said the Queen was “the rock on which modern Britain was built” and ended her statement with “words that not British leader has said for 70 years: ‘God save the king.”
  • Britain began a 10-day mourning period on Friday, accompanied by 96-gun salutes. Businesses closed, and many sporting and other public events were cancelled or postponed out of respect.
  • Tributes poured in from across the world, as world leaders from President Joe Biden to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin paid their respects to Britain’s sovereign and thousands signed condolence books at British embassies worldwide.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times called the late Queen “the one constant in an inconstant world,” “an analog celebrity in a digital age” and “perhaps the most famous, and famously inscrutable, woman” in the world. On her 21st birthday, the then-Princess Elizabeth vowed, “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
  • The royal correspondent for BBC News wrote the Queen’s death was “the moment history stops.” “It was this avoidance of any political controversy as head of state, and her refusal to bend the monarchy to the winds of fashion, that enabled her to triumph in the role that would earn her the love and respect of so many, as head of nation. This is the great unwritten role of modern monarchy. This is where, unprotected by tradition and unprepared by precedent, character alone drove her reign.”
  • The Guardian wrote that for Americans, the Queen was “the ultimate celebrity” and “a character out of a fairy tale” as it examined the Queen’s popularity in the United States and her interactions with presidents and the American public.



  • British-American writer Charles C.W. Cooke described the Queen as “remarkable” and “a model of duty, honesty, and hard work” in a piece for National Review.
  • The Telegraph reported only the then-Prince of Wales and Princess Anne, the Queen’s oldest children, were able to make it to her Balmoral castle in Scotland before she passed away on Thursday afternoon.
  • Historian Andrew Roberts wrote the Queen “was the best of us” and “fine lifelong role model for millions” in a memorial published in The Wall Street Journal. Roberts recalled the Queen’s words in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

Author’s Take

What can be said that hasn’t already been said about Queen Elizabeth II? Not only was she the longest-reigning monarch in British history, but she was also the second longest reigning in recorded history after only Louis XIV of France. Nine out of every 10 people on the planet Earth have only known one British monarch. She was the last person in British public life to serve in uniform in the Second World War. Winston Churchill, her first prime minister, was elected to Parliament during the reign of Queen Victoria and was born 101 years before her 15th and last prime minister, Elizabeth Truss.

Through it all, she maintained her devotion to God, duty, and country and never placed her personal desires above the oath she took in 1952. Public figures on both sides of the Atlantic have much to learn from her example.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022