Queen Elizabeth has Died: Where Does the UK Go from Here?

by Adia Miller

On September 8, the UK’s longest ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth ll, passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. While the loss of the Queen is devastating, plans have been created for the inevitable event.

The monarchical succession of power continues to the firstborn of the previous generation. This means that with the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s death, her first born, the former Prince Charles of Wales, has now taken his place as King Charles III after 73 years of being the heir apparent. His wife Camilla, previously known as the duchess of Cornwall, is now named the Queen’s Consort with Prince William now taking the place of heir apparent and Duke of Cornwall, and his wife Kate taking over Camilla’s title as Duchess of Cornwall. While King Charles was titled king immediately after her majesty’s death and has subsequently performed his Accession Declaration, a private speech that acknowledges the travesty of the former monarch’s death, and his Accession Oath, the date of his coronation remains largely unknown, though past timelines would indicate a minimum of three months until the event.

American citizen and former UK resident of four years as a military spouse, Nici Watkins is a proud monarchist and follower of the royal family. Watkins says she will DVR the Queen’s funeral, and will be “up at the crack of dawn with tea and homemade scones and strawberry jam and will watch every second” of King Charles’s coronation when it takes place. “These are moments in history,” she remarks. “And I think what I found so fascinating, besides the Queen’s dedication to her people and service to her country, is that you can look at those people, and just see a living link to history, that otherwise can only be seen in books and movie and TV now.”

The Queen has been preparing for her final move across the UK. She was removed from Balmoral Castle where she passed and sent along to Aberdeen, then Edinburgh, and finally London so her people could pay their respects. On September 19, 2022, the Queen’s funeral took place at Westminster Abbey, and with the following day the UK’s official mourning period will end, though the king has already stated that one of his first acts will be to make September 19 an official day of mourning as a federal holiday within the UK and commonwealth realms. Post funeral, the Queen was laid to rest at the King George VI Memorial Chapel alongside her husband, Prince Phillip, and other family members.

The British monarchy and their role has changed through the years. The once policy of say-all be-all dictated by a single man has since been replaced with a prime minister and parliament, but nevertheless the royal family has always stood. For seventy years the Queen was where the people of the UK looked. Through tragedies and horrors such as Windsor Castle burning to joys and prevailing moments like her majesty’s annual Christmas speech, the people of Great Britain would await their Queen’s words and actions. The people of the UK have their leader for the entirety of their lives, and for many, Queen Elizabeth was the only monarch they had ever known. 

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