Queen Elizabeth II is England’s longest reigning monarch, and she has passed away at the age of 96.
It’s a stunning development for a country who has felt her steady hands at the helm since 1953. Reactions across the world are of shock and heartbreaking, with shops and business across England announcing the death to customers in real-time.
Crowds have gathered outside of Buckingham Palace, singing “God Save the Queen” as her people react to her passing.
A number of policies will now go into effect automatically after her death, known as “Operation London Bridge.”
Heir apparent Prince Charles is expected to address the world, and a 12 to 14-day period of mourning is likely to be enacted immediately. This could disrupt travel to and from the country, and many businesses are expected to close.
The Queen’s coffin will be returned to Buckingham and placed on display for mourners to pay their respect in Westminster Abbey. A funeral will be held 10 days after her passing.
Whether or not Charles ascends to the throne as King is being hotly debated, and there’s no clear answer as of yet. While it is expected, he himself is already in his 70’s and is not the ideal successor given a number of controversies and scandals plaguing his reputation.
The Queen was a polarizing figure for Brits, more beloved than despised, but to many she represented a relic of a bygone era when money was hoarded for the elite and the people held under the thumb of nepotic rule. Nonetheless, political figures and celebrities are reminding people to behave with respect and propriety, and England is showing her polite colors as skeptics and fans alike turn out to mourn the Queen who guided Britain into the modern era.