On 8th September 2022 Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms, died aged 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, thus ending a reign of 70 years and 214 days, the longest reign of any British monarch and longest recorded of any female head of state in history.
Businesses and ordinary citizens are marking this event through a wide variety of means, expressing their respect and gratitude for the Queen’s life of service. This is evident in the streets and also in the actions and words of ordinary citizens. Momentarily political issues are put aside, swathes of black banners adorn façades, photos of the Queen have appeared on the walls of the London Underground and crowds line up quietly to lay down flowers in her memory in parks and churches throughout the land.
Millions of people in the UK, whether they are 3 or 70 years old, will have known Elizabeth II as their Queen all their lives. Eva, a young mother who lives in London, says it is like losing a grandmother. Children have made cards with photos and drawings accompanied by prayers, blessings and words of gratitude and thanks. Many adults have also written cards. One expresses condolences to King CharlesIII and then addresses the Queen with the touching words “To your Majesty the late Queen Elizabeth, I recall with gladness your state visit to my beautiful country, Ireland from 17–20 May 2011. Your successful visit brought reconciliation to heal past wounds”.

Richard, who was 16 years old in a chemistry lesson when he was told that the Queen had acceded to the throne because of the death of her father, sums up the feelings of many:
“We are of course saddened by the Queen’s death, but at 96 she had had a very good innings (a cricketing term for a successful batsman…) and, having lost her husband a year ago, one cannot help but wonder if she didn’t really want to carry on for much longer, and maybe thought it was about time to make way for the next generation.
One thing that marked her out from virtually all people now aspiring to lead us in public life here, as has been remarked upon by many who lived through World War 2, is her genuine dedication of her life on her 21st birthday to the service of the people of this country, completely irrespective of her own personal feelings or interests. With so much nowadays driven by emotion and personal ambition, and ethical values subordinated to monetary ones, that is a real difference.
Charles intends to carry on as his mother sought to behave, and we wish him well.”