A summer of great losses Mikhail Seerguievich Gorbachev, (1931-2022) Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022)

By Nchumbonga George Lekelefac,

The summer of 2022 will go down in the chronicles of history, due to the deaths of two of the great protagonists of the 20th century: On Tuesday, August 30, the death of the last leader of the USSR, Mikhail Seerguievich Gorbachev, (1931-2022) was announced. He died at the age of 91 and nine days later, in the early hours of the afternoon of Thursday, September 8, the authorities of the British Royal family, announced the death of the monarch at the age of 96 years.

For 70 years, she was the queen of the United Kingdom and 15 nations of the world. Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary; 21 April 1926 – 8 September 2022) was Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death in 2022. She was queen regnant of 32 different sovereign states during her life and served as monarch of 15 of them at the time of her death. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days is the longest of any British monarch and the longest recorded of any female head of state in history. Queen Elizabeth II went down in the history of mankind, with all possible records. The first, the only monarch of the United Kingdom who ruled for 70 years, is followed by Queen Victoria I, (1819-1901). Like her great-great-grandmother, she ruled for 62 years.

On September 6, 2022, two days before her death, the monarch Elizabeth II (1926-2022), received at her Balmoral Palace, known as the summer residence of the royal family, the new prime minister, Liz Truss (1975). It was the last public act of the monarch.

The 15 prime ministers had the approval of the monarch since 1952, when she assumed the crown. These are: Winston Churchill, Sir Anthony Eden, Harold MacMillan, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath, Harold Wilson, James Callaghan, Margaret Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Theresa May, and Liz Truss.

She was queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.

Queen Elizabeth II was born on April 21, 1926. She was a front-line witness of the last 70 years of humanity, such as the rise of the Nazis, the Second World War, the Cold War, the independence of the many nations of Asia, Africa, such as India, the Vietnam War, the conquest of the moon, the creation of the State of Israel, the birth of the Beatles, Rock, the fall of the Berlin wall and the colossus of the USSR, thousands and thousands of events, the Falklands war, AIDS, and covid-19, as well as the internet age 25 years ago. Also, the death of Princess Diana. She also had a great sporting spirit, in particular, hunting.

The Netflix film company produced the series La Corona, with four seasons. Millions of inhabitants of the world followed this production punctually, which brought us closer to the life of the British Royal family. A very serious work and attached to the truth.

In the winter of 1952, she became the Queen of England, with the name of Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Queen of her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth of Nations and Defender of the Faith. Head of State of 15 nations.

From the marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Duke Edinburgh, Philip of Mountbatten, they procreated four children: Charles, Prince of Wales (November 14, 1948); Anne, Princess Royal (August 15, 1950); Andrew, Duke of York (February 19, 1960); Edward, Earl of Wessex (March 10, 1964); Grandchildren: Of Prince Charles and Princess Diana: Prince William and Prince Harry; Princess Anne and Mark Phillips: Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips; Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson: Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones: Lady Louise Windsor and James Windsor, Viscount Severn. Great-grandchildren: Zara Phillips Tindall: Mia Grace, Lena Elizabeth and Lucas Philip; from Prince William: George Alexander Louis, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana and Louis Arthur Charles; by Peter Phillips: Savannah and Island; Prince Harry: Archie Harrison and Lilibet‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor; of Princess Eugenie: August Philip Hawke Brooksbank; of Princess Beatrice: Sienna Elizabeth MapelliMozzi.

Head of the Anglican Church

Queen Elizabeth II was the head of the Anglican Church. She had a deep sense of religious and civic duty and took her Coronation Oath seriously. Aside from her official religious role as Supreme Governor of the established Church of England, she worshipped with that church and also the national Church of Scotland. She demonstrated support for inter-faith relations and met with leaders of other churches and religions, including five popes: Pius XII, John XXIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. A personal note about her faith often featured in her annual Christmas Message broadcast to the Commonwealth. In 2000, she said: “To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.”

Charitable organizations

Queen Elizabeth II was patron of more than 600 organisations and charities. The Charities Aid Foundation estimated that Elizabeth helped raise over £1.4 billion for her patronages during her reign.Her main leisure interests included equestrianism and dogs, especially her Pembroke Welsh Corgis.Her lifelong love of corgis began in 1933 with Dookie, the first corgi owned by her family. Scenes of a relaxed, informal home life were occasionally witnessed; she and her family, from time to time, prepared a meal together and washed the dishes afterwards.

Encounters with five Popes

Queen Elizabeth II’s had the grace to encounters five popes. Courtney Mares observed that one year before Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne, she met Pope Pius XII as a princess in 1951.

Ten years later, queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had an audience with Pope John XXIII at the Apostolic Palace on May 5, 1961. The pope expressed his “deepest personal esteem” for the queen for bearing “the weight of such vast responsibilities with so much simplicity and dignity.”

Nineteen years later, Queen Elizabeth II met Pope John Paul II for the first time at the Vatican together with her late husband, Prince Philip, for an official state visit on October 13, 1980. In a historic trip marking the first time a pope set foot in Britain, Pope John Paul II visited the queen at Buckingham Palace in May 1982. Nearly 20 years later, the queen traveled to the Vatican for a private meeting with the Polish pope on October 17, 2000.

Pope Benedict XVI’s first meeting during his four-day visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010 was with Queen Elizabeth II in Edinburgh, Scotland. Benedict said it was a “very cordial meeting, characterized by the sharing of several profound concerns for the well-being of the world’s peoples and for the role of the Christian values in society.”

When Queen Elizabeth II met with Pope Francis at the Vatican in April 2014, she gave the pope a food hamper filled with local delicacies and a bottle of Balmoral whiskey. The meeting marked the 100th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and the Holy See. On September 8, 2022, Pope Francis has offered his condolences to King Charles III for the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth, the UK’s longest-serving monarch.

“Deeply saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I offer heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty, the Members of the Royal Family, the People of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” the Holy Father said. The Pope said he joined everyone who mourns her loss “in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth, her example of devotion to duty, her steadfast witness of faith in Jesus Christ and her firm hope in his promises.” Pope Francis also commended “her noble soul” to the mercy of God the Father. “I assure Your Majesty of my prayers that Almighty God will sustain you with his unfailing grace as you now take up your high responsibilities as King,” the Pontiff told King Charles. “Upon you and all who cherish the memory of your late mother, I invoke an abundance of divine blessings as a pledge of comfort and strength in the Lord,” Pope Francis concluded.

Tributes worldwide

President Paul Biya of Cameroon issued a tribute dated September 8, 2022, in which he noted that he learnt with profound sadness the disappearance of Queen Elizabeth II. He further went on to say that he inclines himself in front of the memory of this illustrious sovereignty of exceptional destination, of which its reign marked the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. He concluded that Queen Elizabeth was very much loved by the people of Britain, and particularly respected overseas and noted that the solemn celebration of her 70th anniversary of her ascend to the throne, was a beautiful illustration.

President Biden stated: “Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden said in a statement. “In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her. … In the years ahead, we look forward to continuing a close friendship with The King and The Queen Consort. Today, the thoughts and prayers of people all across the United States are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief.”

Nancy Pelosi stated: “Today, Americans join the people of the United Kingdom in mourning the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Over her seven decades on the throne, Her Majesty was a pillar of leadership in the global arena and a devoted friend of freedom. On behalf of the United States Congress, I extend our deepest and most sincere condolences to the Royal Family during this sad time.”

Vice President Kamala Harris stated that: “Queen Elizabeth II lived an incredible life of service and had a profound impact on countless lives and historic events. We send our condolences to the Royal Family and join the people of the United Kingdom and all those around the world who mourn her loss.”

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama issued a statement saying they “join so many others who are celebrating her life and mourning her passing.” Obama also noted that Queen Elizabeth, when she was still a princess, became the “first-ever female royal to serve on active military duty.”  “And through periods of prosperity and stagnation—from the moon landing to the fall of the Berlin Wall, to the dawn of the digital age—she served as a beacon of hope and stability for the people of the United Kingdom and the world,” he said.

Significant events

Significant events of Queen Elizabeth include Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953 and the celebrations of her Silver, Golden, Diamond, and Platinum Jubilees in 1977, 2002, 2012, and 2022, respectively. Elizabeth was the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch, and the second-longest reigning sovereign in world history, only behind Louis XIV of France. She faced occasional republican sentiment and media criticism of her family, particularly after the breakdowns of her children’s marriages, her annus horribilis in 1992, and the death of her former daughter-in-law Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. However, support for the monarchy in the United Kingdom remained consistently high, as did her personal popularity. Elizabeth died aged 96 at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, and was succeeded by her eldest son, Charles III.God save the King!


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