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Sep 8, 2022

Queen Elizabeth the Second, Dead at 96

Tonight, flags are being flown at half-mast in Britain and all countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations, including Belize, as arrangements are being made to lay the Queen of England to rest.  Queen Elizabeth the Second was Britain’s longest reigning monarch, ruling the United Kingdom and fourteen other sovereign nations since she was crowned in 1952.  Her Majesty, the Queen of England, passed away at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland at age ninety-six. What many may not have known is that Queen Elizabeth the Second was the monarch that shouldn’t have been. That’s because it all came about by happenstance, when Edward the Eighth abdicated the throne before the date was set for him to be crowned king. He was set to succeed his father, King George the Fifth, but when he relinquished his seat, history, as we know it, changed course giving rise to the longest reigning monarch.  Earlier today, News Five spoke by phone with Therese Rath, Belize’s High Commissioner to the UK.  She described the melancholy in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s passing. She also describes the steps to be taken, including the coronation of King Charles the Third in the days ahead.


Therese Rath

On the phone: Therese Rath, Belize High Commission

“Well I think there was a seriousness about it and the day was already a very grey day after a very bright and sunny summer and people went about their business but were kind of being aware of looking out for new announcements. It didn’t feel like something they were going to recover from. So when the announcement actually came there was like a silence, there was a quietness but then… We were walking on a very quiet street and there were people crying, you know, especially older people. You would see people crying quietly or hugging each other, so there’s like a sadness. There were hundreds of people that went down to Buckingham Palace, they were just out there on the street.  Some areas, you see people going about their business.  But again, we went into a small restaurant and like everybody was talking about it, but talking about it in hush tones, not overwhelmingly loud or even, like it wasn’t, like you are not surprised, it’s like you are expecting that a ninety-six-year-old monarch is going to die but it’s still a shock of sadness. The first anybody heard of it was the BBC announcement where they made the, Buckingham Palace made the announcement that she was under medical supervision and that her family was coming to Balmoral. What happens now is that we are officially notified, but now we await, there’s a whole plan in place and we now await what that plan is and how we fit into that and that will be forthcoming. Those plans have been well-established for many, many years. On our part, the queen is our head of state and we now have a king that is our head of state and so officially, we have to begin the processes to recognize and accept that.  Why it has touched many people it’s not only the fact that she was the monarch for seventy years, but I think people are really aware of her as a person. She was an incredibly strong woman and in many ways, an incredible role model about her sense of duty and her kindness. There was a kindness and a naturalness that came through.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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