All  
Queen Elizabeth II, The Second Longest-Reigning Monarch in History Dies

Queen Elizabeth II, the Second Longest-Reigning Monarch in History, Dies

Print

Today, Thursday 8th of September, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth has passed away peacefully at her country home, Balmoral.

The news comes just a few months after she celebrated her Platinum Jubilee in June, commemorating seventy years since coming to the throne. On 12 June 2022, Queen Elizabeth II became the world’s second longest-reigning monarch, overtaking Thailand’s late King Bhumibol the Great.

Her son, Charles has now immediately become king.

Having reigned for seven decades, Elizabeth II was a multiple Guinness World Record holder. In 2015 she took the title of longest-reigning monarch in the United Kingdom, overtaking the staunch Queen Victoria .

At 96 years of age Elizabeth II was the oldest living monarch, having been born on 21 April 1926, and had also been reigning for longer than any other current monarch with almost 20 years difference to the next contender, Hassanal Bolkiah from Brunei who came to the throne in 1946.

Outside her realm and era only the 17th century French King Luis the XIV has reigned longer.

Queen Elizabeth II in 2015, was the second longest-reigning monarchs in history. (PolizeiBerlin / CC BY-SA 4.0)

Queen Elizabeth II in 2015, was the second longest-reigning monarch in history. (PolizeiBerlin / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

At just 25 years of age, Elizabeth came to the throne on the 6th February 1952 when her father, George VI died unexpectedly. The official coronation of Elizabeth II, on the 2nd June 1953 in Westminster Abbey , was the first in history to be broadcast live on television to an estimated audience of 27 million. While the monarchy can seem outdated to the uninitiated, Queen Elizabeth II has overseen an era of extreme social change. She came to the throne during the aftermath of World War II , saw the end of the British Empire and has been served by 14 prime ministers, including Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher.

Under her watch there were also many firsts. On a personal level there were several royal divorces, the most famous being that of Charles and Diana which stood out for the inordinate amount of attention it achieved from the press. More recently, in 2018 Meghan Markle went down in history as the first publicly biracial person to marry into the family.

Queen Elizabeth II waves from the palace balcony after her official Coronation in 1953. (National Media Museum)

Queen Elizabeth II waves from the palace balcony after her official Coronation in 1953. ( National Media Museum )

Elizabeth II, and her husband Philip the late Duke of Edinburgh, came into the throne during a time of monarchical crisis. This prompted action hoping to modernize the royal institution, such as the broadcast in 1969 of a 105-minute BBC documentary aiming to humanize and strengthen the monarchy. The aptly titled “Royal Family” attracted 30 million viewers in Britain alone. Elizabeth also famously went against tradition when she began the “walkabout,” a term to describe greeting crowds on the street in person, during a royal tour in 1970.

She is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. The Royal Family will now enter a period of mourning. Official engagements will be cancelled and union flags will be flown at half-mast on royal residences, government buildings, across the Armed Forces and UK Posts overseas.

Top image: Queen Elizabeth II. Source:  Open Government License

By Cecilia Bogaard

References

Blakemore, E. 22 August 2018. “Meghan Markle Might Not Be the First Mixed-Race British Royal” in History. Available at: https://www.history.com/news/biracial-royalty-meghan-markle-queen-charlotte

Chambru, C. 16 October 2020. “What consequences did religious intolerance against the Huguenots have in France?” in LSE. Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2020/10/16/what-consequences-did-religious-intolerance-against-the-huguenots-have-in-france/

Crossette, B. 13 October 2016. “Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88, People’s King of Thailand, Dies After 7-Decade Reign” in The New York Times . Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/world/asia/thai-king-bhumibol-adulyadej-dies.html

Gopalakrishnan, M. 9 March 2021. “Before Meghan and Harry: The British royals' historical views on race” in DW. Available at: https://www.dw.com/en/before-meghan-and-harry-the-british-royals-historical-views-on-race/a-56818581

Holmes, O. 22 October 2017. “Thailand: thousands to attend extravagant cremation for King Bhumibol” in The Guardian . Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/22/thailand-king-bhumibol-royal-crematorium

Hulme, K. 19 March 2018. “Land of the Free: How Thailand Got Its Name” in Culture Trip. Available at: https://theculturetrip.com/asia/thailand/articles/land-of-the-free-how-thailand-got-its-name/

Meares, H. 2 December 2020. “The 1969 Documentary That Tried to Humanize Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family” in History. Available at: https://www.history.com/news/queen-elizabeth-ii-1969-royal-family-documentary

No name. 20 September 2015. “Running Afoul of the Thai Monarchy” in The New York Times . Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/09/18/world/asia/thailand-king-lese-majeste.html

No name. No date. “Louis XIV 1638-1715” in Chateau de Versailles . Available at: https://en.chateauversailles.fr/discover/history/great-characters/louis-xiv

Pearl, D. 4 September 2015. “Longest Reigning Monarch in UK History” in People. Available at: https://people.com/royals/queen-elizabeths-record-breaking-reign-of-63-years/

Pruitt, S. 4 February 2022. “Queen Elizabeth II: 14 Key Moments in Her Reign” in History. Available at: https://www.history.com/news/queen-elizabeth-ii-key-moments

Szczepanski, K. 8 July 2019. “Biography of King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand” in ThoughtCo. Available at: https://www.thoughtco.com/king-bhumibol-adulyadej-of-thailand-195730

Wongcha-um, P. 3 May 2019. “The real 'King and I' - the story of new Thai king's famous ancestor” in Reuters. Available at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-thailand-king-coronation-mongkut-idUSKCN1S90UR

Comments

I wonder if we shall see Prince Andrew's reclusive friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, pay her respects?

How many are needed for a pattern to emerge?

The truth matters irrespective of time. Is that not the whole point of archaeology?

Even then, the timing may not be as presumed.

It’s an utter disgrace that people would leave these kinds of comments so soon after her death.  Shame on you.  

A close friend of Rolf Harris departs, to be replaced by a close friend of the late Jimmy Saville.

This may seem harsh, but it is not untrue.

Pete Wagner's picture

Would be a good time to stand down the Monarchy.  

Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.

Next article