Today began as an ordinary day, I dropped the kids off at school and looked forward to catching up on work, which unintentionally but inevitably, gets put on a back burner during the school holidays. Before I could work, there was a pile of typical “parent admin” that needed to be sorted: forms to fill in for Danny to start at college, dates for Rebecca’s exams to be added to the diary, a phone call to the school nurse about routine jabs for Caitlyn, and money to transfer for Izzy and the girls to return to after-school clubs next week. “I will get my work done!” I promised myself. And eventually, I made a start.
This soon came to an end when I spotted a worrying tweet at 12.21 pm. I knew then that something was wrong and that it was going to be a bad day for all. However, I still hoped that we would go to bed tonight, with our faithful Queen still reigning over us. But it was not to be. Today, the Queen died…
Something big is happening in the Commons – Keir Starmer is on his feet but has just been passed a note via his deputy Angela Rayner. SNP bench also made aware. A lot of very glum faces— Kate McCann (@KateEMcCann) September 8, 2022
At 12.21 pm, Kate McCann’s tweet stated that Keir Starmer, whilst speaking in Parliament had been handed a note by Angela Rayner. Everyone who had been made aware of the news looked glum and worried, as were us, onlookers, now, as we all knew what this likely meant.
You can watch how concern for the Queen spread around the Commons, during the Energy Debate in the video above. PM Liz Truss’s announcement today of capping families’ energy bills up to £2500 a year has of course been overshadowed now.
No news had been confirmed but I already felt so worried, even though I tried not to. I’d love to be like the people who live by the motto, “Don’t worry, it hasn’t happened yet.” But no, my body was involuntarily in panic mode. My heart raced, I had goosebumps, my legs were like jelly and my belly churned.
A statement from Buckingham Palace:https://t.co/2x2oD289nL— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
I turned on the news, but nothing was being reported yet. Thirteen minutes later (which felt like an age) and the Royal Family released and tweeted their first statement of the day.
Following further evaluation this morning, The Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision.
The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.
Parliament was interrupted as Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle interrupted the speech of SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford during the energy debate to tell MPs about the Queen’s health.
The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime.— Liz Truss (@trussliz) September 8, 2022
My thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time.
Shortly after Liz Truss was seen to leave and she shared her own statement:
The whole country will be deeply concerned by the news from Buckingham Palace this lunchtime. My thoughts – and the thoughts of people across our United Kingdom – are with Her Majesty The Queen and her family at this time.
The BBC suspended all regular programming and replaced it with news coverage of the Queen’s health. We all knew it was serious. There has never been a statement released stating “concern” for Her Majesty’s health before. The news presenters were wearing black ties, seemingly ready to break the bad news. We just watched the rolling news and waited.
We heard that immediate family were on their way. Prince Charles and Princess Anne arrived first as they were already in Scotland. Then, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex all flew together from London, landing at Aberdeen airport, which is about an hour by car from the Queen’s residence. Obviously, when the family is called, it means things are serious. We prepared for the worst but hoped for the best, as there is always hope and sometimes people pull through these health scares, especially at the age of 96.
The rolling news continued, and there was a lot of repetition and speculation. I messaged Mum, Jo, Ceri, Great Gran, and Dave. I turned the TV off and tried to work. Then, I worried that I’d miss an announcement so I returned to my desk and laptop but put the news back on the TV muted, glancing up occasionally to check for updates. There was no official news before I went to pick the kids up.
Strangely, Izzy came out of school with the “Queen Elizabeth: A Platinum Jubilee Celebration” book that the Department for Education commissioned to gift to all primary school children in state education in the UK. I knew that Wales’ books were due to be given out in September (to schools that had requested them). However, I don’t know if it was a coincidence that they were given out today or if a member of staff heard the news and felt it was apt to gift them.
I got to Great Gran’s house to pick the older girls up. Caitlyn was watching the news coverage with Gran. Rebecca had heard the news in school. They asked me, in the straight-talking way that kids do, if the Queen was going to die today. I replied that I didn’t know for sure, things looked serious as the family had been called to gather around, but you can never be sure until you know. We popped to the Post Office and Tesco then home to make tea, with the TV back on in the background. I was worried there’d be a big announcement while I was in the kitchen making tea.
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 8, 2022
The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/VfxpXro22W
I’d just sat down to eat tea and then at 6.30 pm I heard this heartbreaking statement:
The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.
The news was broken, in our home, by Hugh Edwards on BBC News. We don’t know what time she died, but I assume only Prince Charles and Princess Anne arrived in time to see her. Hearing the news, I just broke down in tears. Even though I know that everyone dies, I knew that the Queen would die one day, I know she was 96. But, still, I just can’t quite believe it. The Queen is dead. Our Queen is dead. I think, I subconsciously thought she’d always be around. For most people in the UK, in the World even, she’s been a constant in our lives. It’s hard to imagine life without her.
On hearing the news, as I sobbed, I immediately messaged Mum, Jo, Ceri, Great Gran, Granny and Grampy, and Dave. The kids knew as they were home. I just wanted a steadying group hug from everyone. I couldn’t eat my tea now, I felt sick.
Prince Charles released a statement:
The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother.
I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms, and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world. During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which The Queen was so widely held
Statements have since been made from people of note all over the world.
Of course, some people in the UK (and Worldwide) feel differently as they’re against the Monarchy. I find the situation complicated, I won’t go into it in detail as today is not the day. I’m against the Monarchy system in principle. But, since I was born, the Royal Family has been there. I loved reading books about them as a child. I was “middle named” Elizabeth because I was born on The Queen Mother’s 80th birthday. I wrote her a letter about that and received a lovely reply. My favourite book about the Queen was “The Little Princesses” by their Nanny, Marion Crawford (Crawfie), which was published in 1950. Oh, I loved that book, about the lives of Lilibet and Margaret growing up. It was also full of wonderful photos. I felt very sad when I realised they were of course not happy about Crawfie, a loyal member of staff publishing a book about them. I used to write stories and draw pictures about the Queen Mother as a little girl, I think I included one of my stories in the letter to her.
Whenever I hear people say bad things about the Queen, just because she’s the Queen, I feel she doesn’t deserve it as she never asked for this role, to serve the British public, it’s not a life many of us “commoners” would like or cope with- I certainly wouldn’t. Her life would have gone a different route if her uncle hadn’t abdicated.
On her coronation day, in 1953, she said:
I have in sincerity pledged myself to your service, as so many of you are pledged to mine. Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.
She kept to her promise and dedicated her whole life to the service of the Commonwealth.
Another reason why cruelty at this sad time saddens me is she is a fellow human- a daughter, sister, niece, friend, wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. It is heartbreaking for her family and also the public that she is gone. Those poor great-grandchildren.
It’s a strange time for all. Today is D-Day and Operation London Bridge (and Operation Unicorn as she died peacefully at Balmoral in Scotland) has started. We’ve already heard that Prince Charles is now King Charles III and all the senior royals now have new titles. I’m personally not ready for that yet, today is about saying goodbye to our Queen and for them to say goodbye to their mother and grandmother.
For me, in some ways it changes nothing, I still had to clear up after tea and put the bins out as I do every regular Thursday. But this news also changes everything. We’ve gone from Queen to King, our national anthem has changed (I know the older generation had to get used to singing “God Save Our Queen” when King George VI died), our flags will change (hopefully having the former “Prince of Wales” as King will mean Wales will be reflected in an updated Royal Standard flag?), our notes and coins will change- I can’t imagine a world without the Queen’s profile on our coins when they are eventually out of circulation), stamps will change (but apparently ER postboxes will remain), prayers and promises will be altered and of course, countries may use this as the time to change the Commonwealth, which has been coming for a long time.
As our very new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, said in her statement:
And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country,
– exactly as Her Majesty would have wished –
by saying the words…
God save the King.
It is the end of the second Elizabethan age and the beginning of a new era. My children will remember the Queen, especially the Jubilee celebrations, but the new King or a future King (or no King?) may be their future and eventually their history of note.
As I write this, we’ve already slipped into Friday, D+ 1, our first day moving forward without the Queen, although she will, of course, feature most heavily in our lives over the next 10 days. I woke up this morning with her reigning over us and I don’t want to go to bed tonight as that will mean it’s ended. It does give me some comfort to see the crowds outside Buckingham Palace tonight.
I can’t believe her last public appearance was just two days ago, on Tuesday, when she invited Liz Truss to become prime minister and form a new government. What a week!
Thank you for giving your life to your country, and the Commonwealth.
RIP Queen Elizabeth.
Reunited with her late husband, Prince Phillip.
1926 – 2022