Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96years …President expresses condolences to people of UK

Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the nation’s figurehead for seven decades, has died.

According to a statement issued by Buckingham Palace yesterday, “the 96 year old Queen died peacefully at Balmoral.”

“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” it added

Her eldest son Charles, 73, automatically becomes king of the United Kingdom and the head of state of 14 other realms including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Her family had rushed to be by her side at her Scottish home, Balmoral Castle, after doctors expressed concern about her health earlier yesterday morning.

She had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace had called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.

The Queen’s death would see Britain and her Commonwealth realms enter into a ten-day period of mourning as millions of her subjects in the UK and abroad come to terms with her passing.

Queen Elizabeth II, who was also the world’s oldest and longest-serving head of state, came to the throne following the death of her father King George VI on Feb. 6, 1952, when she was just 25.

The Queen’s passing came more than a year after that of her husband Philip, who died aged 99 in April 2021.

Since his funeral, where she poignantly sat alone because of lockdown restrictions, her own health faltered, and she was forced to miss an increasing number of events mainly due to ‘mobility problems’ and tiredness.

Ascending the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth led the UK through a time of political upheaval.

She began her reign as head of an empire. By the time of her death, there were recurrent calls for independence in Scotland and Britain’s exit from the European Union leading to renewed tension in Northern Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth became the UK’s longest-serving monarch in 2015, when she surpassed the record of Queen Victoria, who had ruled from 1837 to 1901.

The partner whom Elizabeth described as her “strength and stay,” Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years, died in April 2021, at 99.

Elizabeth reached the end of her reign with her popularity thoroughly rehabilitated after a period of criticism in the 1990s, which culminated in media-fueled outrage at the family’s muted response to Princess Diana’s death in 1997.

When she celebrated 60 years on the throne in 2012, the same year London hosted the Olympic Games, hundreds of thousands of people thronged the streets of London for four days of Diamond Jubilee events.

Her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne, took place in 2022.

The celebration of her reign was marked with an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace by a slimmed-down group comprising direct heirs to the throne and their immediate family.

In another symbolic moment of the continuity of monarchy, her heir, Prince Charles, and his first son, Prince William, both paid public tributes to the queen in front of a crowd of tens of thousands who flooded the area around the palace for a live concert.

Meanwhile, Yaw Kyei report that, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed the country’s condolences to the people of the United Kingdom on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. 

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

“My thoughts and the thoughts of all Ghanaians, at home and abroad, are with Queen Elizabeth II, the British Monarch and Head of the Commonwealth, the organisation of which Ghana is a proud member,” President Akufo-Addo said in a post on Facebook.

The President also expressed the country’s condolences to her family and wished them well.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Ghana in 1961 few years after the country’s independence from British colonial rule to solidify the UK-Ghana relations.

In 1999, the Queen visited Ghana for the second time under the leadership of former President Jerry John Rawlings 

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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