Celebrating the Life of Queen Elizabeth II

QUEEN ELIZABETH II outside Windsor Castle

On September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully. She was monarch of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The United Kingdom includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, while the Commonwealth is made up of independent nations that used to be part of the British Empire. Some of those nations are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Jamaica.

As monarch, Queen Elizabeth II served as Head of State for over 70 years. As Head of State, she represented the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth nations. She often met with other world leaders. Her image is used on money and stamps. She oversaw important ceremonies. Most importantly, she was a symbol of British tradition during changing times.

This picture shows Queen Elizabeth II and her family in 1953. The boy in the center, Charles, became King Charles III after the queen’s death.

Queen Elizabeth II became queen in 1952 when her father, King George VI, died. Her coronation [the ceremony in which a new monarch is crowned] was the first coronation to be shown on TV. In 1940, during World War II, Elizabeth—a young princess—addressed Britain’s children on the radio. She spoke words of comfort as many had to leave their homes for safety. As queen, she would continue to address the public during both good times and hard times. Eighty years later, in 2020, she spoke to the nation about the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, assuring people that they would get through the crisis together.

Many people are sad about the loss of Elizabeth II. She has been queen for many people’s entire lifetime. They are sharing memories about her and celebrating her life. There will be a ten-day period of mourning [a time of expressing sadness after someone has died]. Her son, Charles, has become King Charles III. At least several months after the mourning is over, he will have a coronation. People will celebrate him becoming king.

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Photo Credit: TOP: Ian Shaw/Alamy Stock Photo; BOTTOM: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo