Despite her many years, Queen Elizabeth’s death last year came as a shock to many. By all accounts she reached the end of her life in peace, even if some argue that she had one or two underlying medical issues before she passed.
Her Majesty had the privilege to sit on the English throne for more than 70 years, celebrating her Platinum Jubilee with hundreds of thousands of people in London. Her entire family was on hand for the occasion, though reports suggest that she was beginning to lose energy by that point.
In fact, it wasn’t even a certainty that Queen Elizabeth would appear at all on the famous Buckingham Palace balcony during the Jubilee. According to one royal expert, it was only with the help of now-King Charles that she made her way out to stand before the public. Charles reportedly had one last plea for his mother – and it was one that brought tears to her eyes.
Queen Elizabeth II was born in Mayfair, London, on April 21, 1926, the first child of The Duke and Duchess of York – who later became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. She was christened Elizabeth Alexandra Mary at Buckingham Palace on May 29 of the same year.
Queen Elizabeth spent 70 years on the throne
On February 6, 1952, Elizabeth became the Queen. She was crowned on June 2, 1953.
By that point in her life, Queen Elizabeth had already met the love of her life, Prince Philip. They are said to have met for the first time while attending the wedding of Prince Philip’s cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, and The Duke of Kent, who was an uncle to Princess Elizabeth.
In July 1947, the couple announced their engagement. On November 20, the same year, the couple married in Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had four children together; Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. In addition to her four children, Her Majesty welcomed eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren during her life.
In 2007, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh became the first couple in the Royal Family to celebrate their Diamond Wedding anniversary.
“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments. He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know,” Queen Elizabeth said during the celebration.
Prince Philip sadly passed away on April 9, 2021, aged 99.
Her Majesty lived a full life, meeting millions worldwide, a staggering thirteen US Presidents, and fifteen Prime Ministers. It began with the legendary Winston Churchill, who was prime minister when she became Queen.
Queen Elizabeth died “peacefully at Balmoral”
Sadly, of course, all things must come to an end.
Around lunchtime on September 8, 2022, Buckingham Palace announced that Elizabeth was under medical supervision at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, with doctors concerned with her health.
Some members of the Royal Family were already by the Queen’s bedside at her Scottish estate. Others, unfortunately, didn’t make it in time. Prince William and Prince Harry’s planes didn’t arrive in Scotland before their beloved grandmother died.
Buckingham Palace declared the death of Queen Elizabeth in a statement following her family’s arrival at the castle. Her death was announced around 6:30 in the evening.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace wrote. “The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Britain was naturally left in shock after the announcement. The Queen had been a part of many people’s lives, and as she had been on the throne for more than 70 years, a large portion of the population had never known any other monarch. She served longer than any other British ruler and became the second longest-reigning monarch in history.
The Queen lay-in-state – the formal occasion in which a coffin is placed on view to allow the public to pay their respects to the deceased before the funeral – at Westminster Hall for four days. It was open 24 hours a day, though the line had to eventually be closed in adherence with the funeral schedule.
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral
The BBC reported that entry to the back of the line would be closed early to ensure those already waiting could walk past the Queen’s coffin.
On her way to Westminster Abbey, tens of thousands honored Queen Elizabeth as she made her way to Windsor Castle.
The procession – which, according to The Guardian, had been decades in the planning – saw the Queen’s coffin placed on a gun carriage and drawn through the center of the capital. The gun carriage, The George Gun, was also used for the ceremonies when the Queen Mother and King George VI – Her Majesty’s parents – passed away.
King Charles joined William and Harry in walking behind the coffin, as did the Queen’s other children, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne. Meanwhile, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Kate Middleton, Sophie, and Meghan Markle traveled by car.
Following the state funeral, the coffin traveled in procession to Wellington Arch. From Wellington Arch, the casket was transported to Windsor. Once there, the hearse continued in procession to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, via the Long Walk. The heartbreaking pictures of the Queen’s beloved corgis standing on the steps, watching the Queen’s hearse drive by, will be forever ingrained in the memories of many.
At St George’s Chapel, another funeral service was held for the Queen’s closest family. Reports suggest that Her Majesty was heavily involved in many details of her funeral arrangements. As such, having Princess Anne accompany her on her last journey was likely one of Queen Elizabeth’s final wishes. Princess Anne also walked just behind her mother’s coffin enroute to Westminster Hall.
Queen Elizabeth died from old age – but others tell a different story
In 2022, Queen Elizabeth became the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.
On February 6 – 70 years after her father’s passing and ascension to the throne – Queen Elizabeth renewed the pledge she made on her 21st birthday.
“As we mark this anniversary, it gives me pleasure to renew to you the pledge I gave in 1947 that my life will always be devoted to your service,” Her Majesty said.
Queen Elizabeth was said to have suffered from a sprained back in the last years of her life. The death certificate read “old age,” but other reports have since emerged regarding her health.
In a serialization in the Daily Mail, royal author Gyles Brandreth wrote that the fact that she had myeloma – bone marrow cancer – explained the “tiredness and weight loss and those ‘mobility issues’ we were often told about during the last year or so of her life.”
He continued: “The most common symptom of myeloma is bone pain, especially in the pelvis and lower back, and multiple myeloma is a disease that often affects the elderly. Currently, there is no known cure, but treatment — including medicines to help regulate the immune system and drugs that help prevent the weakening of the bones — can reduce the severity of its symptoms and extend the patient’s survival by months or two to three years.”
Bone cancer can cause severe chronic pain and hinder a person from moving around, which fits Brandreth’s claims about the Queen having “episodic mobility problems.”
Reportedly used a wheelchair
According to Express sources, the Queen withdrew from more public events in her final year because of mobility issues and increased pain.
The Daily Beast reported that although the Queen was never photographed using a wheelchair, she used one to get around in private. According to royal expert and author Robert Joobson, the planning for the Platinum Jubilee was extraordinary.
“On her insistence, a military-style exercise was put in place so that no one could see she was having to use a wheelchair,” Jobson wrote. “In considerable discomfort, Her Majesty was taken by wheelchair to the helicopter pad at Windsor.”
“At the Palace, she was wheeled right up to the balcony doors, then helped to her feet so that she could stand – with the aid of a walking stick – alongside Charles and Camilla, plus William and his family.”
“After a firework display, the Queen smiled with delight. It was her last salute to her people,” he concluded.
Palace aides were said to have been instructed not to let anyone see the Queen in a wheelchair, most notably because the Queen remembered a “haunting image” of her sister, Princess Margaret, in a wheelchair taken just months before her passing.
Queen Elizabeth was “easily confused” and had a hard time to see in her final days
However, a friend of Queen Elizabeth has now decided to speak out about the late monarch’s final years, revealing that she was in “a lot of pain.”
Moreover, the source revealed that the Queen’s sight and hearing had deteriorated considerably in the weeks leading to her death.
Although Queen Elizabeth appointed Liz Truss as Prime Minister just days before her death, a friend concludes that the monarch also had difficulty concentrating for an extended period and “was easily confused.”
“For the last years of her life, certainly from when her husband died [in April 2021], the Queen was in a lot of pain,” a source close to the late Queen’s told The Daily Beast.
“In the final months, of course, it got very much worse; by the time of the Platinum Jubilee, she couldn’t see very much, she couldn’t hear very much, and she was easily confused,” the friend of Queen Elizabeth added. “She barely moved from her apartments in Windsor Castle. Appearing on the balcony at Windsor Castle for the Jubilee required a titanic effort.”
Even though it hasn’t been officially confirmed that Queen Elizabeth was suffering with a sprained back – or indeed any other medical issues – one can easily imagine that she had trouble living life the way she had in the past due to her old age.
Just months before her death, as mentioned, Queen Elizabeth appeared at the Buckingham Palace balcony during her Platinum Jubilee celebration. It was to be one of her final appearances, as she greeted and waived to the thousands of well-wishers at the Mall.
Prince Charles plea to Queen Elizabeth before Jubilee appearance
It was one of the most electric moments of the Platinum Jubilee weekend. But it reportedly might not have happened at all if it wasn’t for then-Prince Charles.
A source told the Daily Mail that the Queen didn’t feel good on the day and was considering canceling her appearance. However, with just hours to go, Prince Charles made what would be one of his final ever pleas to his mother.
“The Queen only decided that she would go to London about three hours before the balcony appearance. She was not feeling brilliant but the Prince of Wales [now King Charles] had called her and told her she really ought to come if she could,” the royal source said.
Apparently, King Charles “convinced” the Queen to travel from Windsor Castle to London for the public’s sake.
“He told her there were so many people desperate to see her, and he convinced her to come,” the source added.
The moment on the famous balcony at Buckingham Palace became very emotional for Queen Elizabeth. She didn’t know it at the time, but it would mark the last time she got to wave to the tens of thousands who loved her dearly.
“She had tears in her eyes”
“The Queen was totally overwhelmed by the number of people waiting to see her – she had tears in her eyes before she stepped out on the balcony.”
Shortly after the Jubilee weekend ended, the Queen thanked the public and those who had organized the historical Jubilee weekend.
“While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family,” Queen Elizabeth wrote.
“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy, and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come,” she said. “I thank you most sincerely for your good wishes and for the part you have all played in these happy celebrations.”
Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth. Please, share this article on Facebook to honor her!