First anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death: A life dedicated to royal duty

Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully on her Platinum Jubilee, aged 96.

The longest-serving monarch in British history had dedicated her life to royal duty.

Resignation was never an option after she vowed to continue ruling for the rest of her days.

He was still performing official engagements without fuss or complaint as he neared 100, when most would have retired 35 years earlier.

The late queen symbolized the stability of the nation and most knew no other monarch on the British throne.

During her lifetime, penicillin was discovered, man landed on the moon, Britain had its first female prime minister and the Internet was invented.

By her side for 73 years was Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, her devoted wife, whom she fell in love with as a teenager when he was a naval cadet and who died aged 99 in 2021.

The late Queen was passive, cautious and conventional.

She was stoic, composed, realistic and private, but also possessed a dry sense of humor and a keen wit and was known for her love of the outdoors, horses, racing and corgis.

The first British monarch in history to reach her Platinum Jubilee, she also became the world's longest-serving monarch.

Queen Elizabeth II was the rock of the royal family, popular with the public and untainted by the scandals of the House of Windsor.

Even after the divorces of three of her four children, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, when the monarchy faced its most serious crisis since the abdication of King Edward VIII, the saga of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the controversy surrounding the Duke of York, the late Queen remained a steadfast figure.

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York was born at 2.40am. on 21 April 1926 at the home of her maternal grandparents in Mayfair.

She was never expected to become queen, but the abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936 changed everything, leaving her father as King George VI and making his eldest daughter Elizabeth the heir.

On her 21st birthday, the princess vowed in a radio broadcast that “my whole life, long or short, will be devoted to your service”.

Princess Elizabeth and her distant cousin, Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, had been married for less than five years when their lives were irrevocably changed by the death of George VI on 6 February 1952.

The princess was only 25 years old when she became queen. He continued to reign for 70 years, seven months and two days.

One year ago on Friday, Queen Elizabeth II was at Balmoral Castle in Scotland enjoying her annual summer holiday.

But fears for her health escalated dramatically on September 8, 2022, when the Palace announced that the monarch was under medical supervision at her Aberdeenshire residence and her doctors were concerned.

Just two days before, on September 6, he had officially performed duties, appointing Liz Truss as Prime Minister.

She appeared bright-eyed but alarmingly tiny and frail in stature as she was depicted standing, aided by her cane, waiting in her Drawing Room before a blazing fire.

Queen Elizabeth II had struggled with her mobility for some time and at her Jubilee celebrations three months earlier, she secretly used a wheelchair backstage to reach the Palace balcony.

On 7 September, the royal doctors ordered her to rest and postpone the meeting of the Privy Council.

Rumors about her health then began to circulate in the early morning of September 8 and hours later, at 12.32pm, the Palace released its alarming statement.

The Princess Royal was already at the late Queen's bedside and the then Prince of Wales had flown from Dumfries House to be with her that morning after being alerted to her condition, while the then Duchess of Cornwall traveled by road from Birkhall.

The monarch's other children, the Duke of York and the then Earl of Wessex – along with the then Duke of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex – made the emergency flight to Scotland on a Royal Air Force flight to say their final goodbyes.

The Duke of Sussex, who was in London for a WellChild event, originally planned to travel with the Duchess of Sussex to Balmoral.

Finally, he flew alone, separately from the rest of the royal family, after being asked by Charles not to bring Meghan.

But in the end they were all too late. The late Queen died at 3.10pm, her death certificate later revealed, with the cause listed as “old age”.

The news of the monarch's death and Charles's ascension as King was announced to the world from Buckingham Palace just over three hours later at 6.30pm that evening.

Tributes started pouring in from all over the world. US President Joe Biden and his wife Jill said that “Queen Elizabeth II was a statesman of unparalleled dignity and stability.”

French President Emmanuel Macron called her “a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century.”

Over the next 11 days, London Bridge's plans in the event of the sovereign's death were meticulously implemented.

Queen Elizabeth II was honored with processions, vigils, a state-in-relief, a grand state funeral at Westminster Abbey and a shocking ceremony at Windsor.