On the Queen’s Death

It’s been some time now since Queen Elizabeth died peacefully in her sleep at her residence. She deserves a moment of reflection by us on a life well lived. While her death was not from an accident or some other misfortune, it was still somewhat of a shock to the nation. When any monarch rules as long as she did, to think that she no longer sat on the throne stunned most of her loyal and loving subjects.

Elizabeth had spoken of death many times. “I know I am mortal,” she said once in a speech to Parliament, “and have prepared myself for death, whenever it shall please God to send it.” Her measured words, delivered in a calm, matter of fact manner, reminded all of her nation that death is no respecter of persons, that it visits both rube and royal, both commoner and king.

She was literally born to rule if anyone ever was. Her father, a ruler who saw the nation through perilous times and through terrible struggles, who led the nation for much of the middle part of the previous century, had not produced a son. It had therefore fallen to Elizabeth to assume the throne at a young age when the crown was vacated. At the time, some questioned whether such a young girl could rule, could wield power, and hold the nation together, but Elizabeth more than proved her detractors wrong.

When she passed, a simple notice was made on the gates of the residence. A crowd had gathered after hearing of her being unwell, expecting the worst but praying for the best. The murmured prayers and lit candles on behalf of the beloved monarch stretched up and down the street in front of the gates. After the announcement, the assembled crowd fell into hushed reverence, as the prayers became silent ones for both Queen and country.

As you know, Elizabeth’s funeral was attended by hundreds of dignitaries. The amount of sorrow over her death and the respect for her years of service affected all who saw the event. People began to wonder what would happen to the nation now that Elizabeth was gone. What would the new King be like as a monarch? Even if the incoming monarch were to prove capable and a good ruler, the consensus was that there would never be another like her.

And Elizabeth also had a way of engaging her people with her life. She set trends for the modern monarchy but also in the areas of the arts and fashion as well. Historians will continue to look to her time as monarch as sort of a golden age in the nation that may well never come again.

In fact, Queen Elizabeth I, who died in March, 1603, is known today as the greatest queen in England’s storied history.

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