Country mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II

It was a time in the past when Elizabeth, 25, was seated in a treehouse in Kenya on the morning of her father’s death, the day that Elizabeth would become queen, overlooking a group of elephants at a bathing hole. It took her hours to receive the sad news because of the long contact gap and distance.

On Thursday, news of her sudden illness and death spread in milliseconds via the royal family’s Twitter account, revealing how dramatically the world has changed over her 70-year reign. Flight tracking data revealed the routes taken by her children as they rushed to her bedside at Balmoral Castle. Everyone knew when the royal household personnel posted the black-bordered death notice on the gates of Buckingham Palace. The BBC news anchors had already dressed all black.

Elizabeth was a constant in people’s lives as the sole ruler the great majority of Britons have ever known, her picture on the currency, on the stamps. Elizabeth was present in times of joy, grief, and fear. Even those who disliked the institution found her to be a homely figure of warm and fuzzy affection as Elizabeth aged. Prince Charles will now be King Charles III, along with his wife who will be known as the queen consort.

If the past is prologue to his reign, the freckled 73-year-old Charles, who has spent his life endorsing organic agriculture and railing against modernist buildings while wearing impeccably tailored pinstripes, will now be the 21st century’s most highly known environmental activist.

Britain has been bracing for this moment, with a detailed plan for “Operation London Bridge” outlining what will happen over the following 10 days, which includes the seriousness and pomp, real emotion and planned kitsch, of a royal funeral and the ascent of a new monarch.

In the upcoming days, Elizabeth’s coffin will be laid to rest in Scotland before being transported to London, where it will be taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall. It will be placed to rest upon an elevated box called a catafalque, and members of the public, as well as VIPs, will be able to pay their respects before a state burial on September 18th.

Until then, the Entrance Council will meet. A declaration designating Charles as the new King of England will be read out from a balcony at St. James’s Palace. To soothe his citizens, Charles will travel to Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. And, for the very first time since 1952, the national anthem will be sung with the lyrics “God Save the King.” Let’s hope the people like him. But that is far from sure. Elizabeth was the head of state of 14 countries, including Australia, Canada, and Jamaica.

The Empress lived a remarkably healthy life, attending official engagements, acting as a supporter of charities, and projecting British authority on journeys all over the world. Elizabeth spent a lot of time outside. Elizabeth had been a lifelong horse lover, rider, and breeder. Elizabeth was surrounded by dogs, notably her famed corgis. Elizabeth liked to shoot birds and antlers.