Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96. She was the longest reigning British monarch with 70 years on the throne. 15 U.S. presidents, seven popes and 15 prime ministers served during her time.
Queen Elizabeth’s reign was not a predicted outcome but a spark of fate. The death of King George V in 1936 left the throne to his eldest son, Edward VIII. But after less than a year of Edward VIII’s reign, he abdicated the throne to marry Wallace Simpson, an American commoner, causing a constitutional crisis that allowed Queen Elizabeth to rise to the throne.
The queen’s reign was marked by numerous historical events. She reigned through World War ll, the Cold War and Brexit. Her legacy is one of change throughout Britain and the world. She is considered a queen that brought the monarchy back to the people and made it relevant in a world of unchanging innovation.
Though many in Britain mourn the death of their queen, there are exceptions to that sentiment. Richard Bownas, a University of Northern Colorado professor who is of British nationality, said he feels indifferent about the queen’s death.
“I am a dual citizen now (US and British). And while she was a big part of British history, I have no big emotions about it,” Bownas said.
Bownas also remarked on the longevity of the queen, noting that “most British citizens did not have memory of another queen.”
The monarchy today does not hold executive power, but it still holds significance and representation to the people of the UK. The queen oversaw global and domestic upheaval and played a part bringing the United Kingdom into the 21st century. Her last public appearance was after appointing Liz Truss prime minister of the United Kingdom. Her eldest son, King Charles III, acceded to the throne on Thursday. No official date has been set for his coronation.