This was not a post I had planned but feel that it’s necessary to write. On Wednesday, September 8th, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Balmoral is a private vacation home of the Royal Family located in the Scottish Highlands. It was purchased by Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria in 1860 and has been passed through the family ever since. Because it is family property, not owned or managed by the Crown Estate, Balmoral is typically bequeathed to the heir to the throne in the will of the current monarch. An exemption to this rule came in 1936, known as “the Year of Three Kings”. Following the death of His Majesty George V in January 1936, Balmoral became the property of his son and heir, Edward VIII. When Edward abdicated the throne in December 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson, he actually had to sell Balmoral to his brother, George VI because the traditional way of passing the property obviously did not work. After the death of George VI in February 1952, Princess Elizabeth ascended the throne as Queen Elizabeth II and received Balmoral as part of her inheritance. Her death brings an end to an iconic era that spanned over seven decades and passes the baton onto the next generation of royals.
Around noon in the UK (six am in the US), Buckingham Palace released a statement stating that royal physicians were concerned with her health and she would be under medical supervision from that point on. Her Majesty had last been seen with new Prime Minister, Liz Truss on Monday of that week as tradition dictates that the monarch formally invites the new PM to form of government in their name following the election. Typically, this is done at Buckingham Palace but the Queen was advised against traveling the hour car ride to the airport and subsequent multi-hour long flight. Photos were released on social media marking the occasion and while Elizabeth was noticeably thinner and frailer, nothing of further alarm was noted. The palace’s announcement of her worrying condition was worrying itself as the palace never releases much information on her personal well-being unless it is of grave importance. Within thirty minutes to an hour, it was revealed that members of the immediate family would be traveling to be with their grandmother. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were already present at Balmoral having traveled from their country home, Birkhall- which is only a short distance from Balmoral. The Princess Royal was also there as well. Shortly after 10:00 am in the US, a flight carrying members of the Royal Family touched down at Aberdeen Airport, having originated in London. The Duke of Cambridge was the first to emerge, followed by the Earl and Countess of Wessex (or the Queen’s third son Edward and his wife Sophie). Last to emerge was the disgraced Duke of York. They were escorted into waiting cars and began the journey to Balmoral. Noticeably absent was the Duchess of Cambridge as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. It was reported that Kate was still in Windsor- where the couple has just recently moved into Adelaide Cottage- with their three children George, Charlotte, and Louis, who’d all had their first day of school. She wanted to be there to bring them home as well as give William some time with his family. However, the issue of Megan and Harry was a little less clear. The two were already in the UK for a variety of events and engagements. Since the Sussexes were not seen in that flight from London, it was assumed they were making separate arrangements. Later, it was confirmed that Harry was traveling to Scotland alone and- this next part is a rumor (but also kinda not but we’re just saying that to avoid drama)!- that an invitation was not extended to the Duchess. Maybe they were worried a camera crew would be attached or some crazy rumors would ensue. Who, honestly, knows? The royal quartet was seen driving into Balmoral, Prince William at the wheel.
Through the day, the queen’s health dominated headlines and social media. We could do nothing but speculate and wait. Shortly before six pm, news broadcasters were still repeating the same information we’d been hearing for hours, Their cameras offered live shots of many royal residences from Balmoral to Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace. While stopped at Balmoral, the camera caught the royal standard as it began to lower. The royal standard is the queen’s coat of arms in flag form. In accordance to protocol, the standard flies at whatever residence she is currently residing in and comes down when she leaves. It is lowered and then re-hung at half-mast to mark her death. Simultaneously, statements from Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen had died earlier in the afternoon. A bulletin relaying the same was placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace by two footman.
Many things happened immediately following the death and it can get confusing but I’ll do my best to explain. The Prince of Wales immediately became King. His wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, also got a new title. It was announced in a subsequent statement: Her Majesty the Queen Consort. Consort is just a fancy way to say “spouse”. Before his death, Prince Philip was styled as His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Elizabeth created him a British prince through Letters Patent in 1957 so that he held equal rank to her. He was never granted “King Consort” because he was married to a queen and there’s a lot of gender bias surrounding queens who get the title in their own right. For years it was speculated as to what Camilla’s title would actually be because the period of, like, 1970-1999, was a capital-s Scandal. Google “War of the Waleses” and you’ll get lots of fun reading material. Princess Consort was thrown about. Months ago, during the Platinum Jubilee, the Queen issued a statement expressing gratitude to her son for all his help but also that it was her “sincere wish and hope” that Camilla one day would become Queen Consort. I guess nobody took her seriously because of the drama but also, it’s tradition so let’s all grow up, shall we? So Charles is King which means William is the heir. Upon the death of the monarch, the entire line of succession moves up a spot. Some titles pass automatically, while others have to be formally granted. William and Kate, previously known as The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, automatically became The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Cornwall. Duke of Cornwall is the heir’s second-highest ranking title. They also gained the titles of Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, Earl and Countess of Carrick, Baron and Baroness of Renfrew; all relate to the different parts of the UK: England, Scotland, Ireland, etc. William also became Lord of the Isles and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. The following day, in his first address as monarch, King Charles III formally announced his son and heir as The Prince of Wales, making Kate The Princess of Wales. This officially gave them the additional titles of Earl and Countess of Chester. A ton of new titles but Prince and Princess of Wales will be the one they use most often because they’re primarily in England. I saw Charles referred to as the Duke of Cornwall only a handful of times and Camilla was the Duchess of Cornwall all of the time because, while legally Princess of Wales, it was so associated to Diana that Camilla used Charles’ second-highest title out of respect. Don’t try to put words in my mouth, don’t try to spin it into some ugly narrative. The choice was Camilla’s. Also, the Prince and Princess’s children get new titles as well. Instead of Cambridge, it’s now Wales (His/Her Royal Highness Prince/ss (name) of Wales). We’re also waiting for Charles to create Edward and Sophie Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, which has been in the works since their wedding, but all in due course.
Now before we get onto the protocols and events for the period of mourning, I feel like we need a good dose of drama. Prince Harry finally arrived at Balmoral literal hours after everyone else sans Meghan. There’s rumors that she wasn’t invited and threw a tantrum (or was just throwing a tantrum that he had to diffuse), hence, him being so late. On the 10th of September, The Prince and Princess of Wales along with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared outside Windsor Castle to see the flowers and talk to the public. Seems fine, right? William extended an invitation, the Sussexes excepted, they do the walkabout, all is great! Well, not really….. According to royal sources, it was originally only going to be Prince William and Princess Catherine. Then it came out that William invited the Sussexes. Sweet! When that came out, along with it came the tidbit that negotiations for Harry and Megan to join them took ALMOST AN HOUR. And there’s more! William invited them because he was informed that Harry and Meghan were planning to go themselves and were bringing a camera crew!!!! I’m sorry……..WHAT?? William decided that was absolutely not happening. When they actually got there, the atmosphere can only be described as A-W-K-W-A-R—D. First of all, everyone only wanted to see the Prince and Princess of Wales. I’m sorry, but they were. Prince William was engaging with everyone and super chill and nice while Princess Catherine looked absolutely stunning. The dress was a Jenny Peckham (I’m 99% certain of this because she has another dress in blue that’s a Jenny Peckham; same style, length, detail, etc.). The jewelry was a pearl set and the shoes were her traditional, go-to black pumps. The fashion is harder to pinpoint right now because obviously the fashion is not the focal point. I can’t even speculate on the other three because I would have no idea without a deeper dive. I only knew which dress Princess Catherine’s was since she has another one in a different color. Plus, fashion is fun and this post needs that! While the quartet had no obvious issues, there was tension. My honest analysis is this: Harry and Meghan said things about the Royal Family and are constantly saying negative things. There’s the tell-all memoir coming out too which we won’t even get into. On top of it all, Meghan primarily went after Princess Catherine in that disastrous Oprah interview so how are the Wales's supposed to act? Meghan and Harry don’t know where they stand at the end of this. The Queen was really their blanket of security because she hated the drama. They caused and continue to cause so much chaos that King Charles could decide to be done with the whole thing and strip them of their titles. At least then they can’t make money off of their royal status anymore. I do wish the best for everyone and truly hope we can move on from this mess but until then Meghan and Harry don’t have my stamp of approval because they’re essentially selling out their whole family for a paycheck and they just refuse to stop being problematic.
Back to the week’s events. After lying in the ballroom at Balmoral since her death, the Queen was moved to Edinburgh by car. During the six-hour ride, Princess Anne followed and thousands of people lined the route to see her pass by. She will lie in the throne room at the Palace of Holyrodhouse, the Royal Family’s official Scottish resident. On the morning of the 12th, she will be taken down the Royal Mile to the St. Giles Cathedral where a service of Thanksgiving for her life and reign will take place. The Royal Family will be present at the service and its preceding procession. After a day at St. Giles to allow the people of Scotland to pay their respects, she’ll be driven to the airport and taken by plane to RAF Northolt and then by car to Buckingham Palace. The Princess Royal will accompany her the whole way while the King and the Queen Consort will be waiting in the Bow Room of Buckingham Palace where her coffin will rest. On the 14th, Her Majesty’s coffin will be taken by gun carriage to Westminster Hall, which is about thirty-eight minutes of procession through London. The King as well as the immediate royal family will walk behind the coffin the whole way. A processional like this last took place in 2002 following the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Prince Philip had a smaller processional from Windsor to St. George’s Chapel due to COVID-19 protocols.
A small service will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury when the Queen’s coffin arrives. She will lie in-state at Westminster Hall from the 14th until the morning of the state funeral. The public will be able to view the coffin all day for four days. The imperial state crown, the Sovereign’s Orb, and the Sovereign's Scepter with Cross will be placed on top. The funeral is set for September 19th at Westminster Abbey. This is the first funeral of a British sovereign to take place at Westminster Abbey since George II died in 1760. Following the service, the coffin will travel to Windsor where another procession will take place at the Quadrangle. The Queen’s internment in the King George VI Memorial Chapel is expected to be private, as she joins her father, mother, and sister within the Royal Vault. Prince Philip will be moved from his temporary burial site within St. George’s Chapel and join the queen. The Royal Family and members of the Royal Household will remain in mourning protocol until seven days after the funeral.
Death is one of the few promises of life but we still like to dream of immortality. The Queen represented those ideas for it seemed impossible that there could be a world without Queen Elizabeth II. She was a constant. Even those who could care less about monarchy knew the Queen. Her memory will endure in the fabric of our world long after these initial days have passed.
What do you know? Maybe she really did achieve immortality after all.
Let’s see how long it takes me to write this one. I swear, as soon as I sit down, my brain shoots off a list of fifty things that I should be doing instead. Like, hello? Where have you been all day and why now when I’m actually doing something fun/productive? Welcome to my brain. But that’s my issue! Today, I just want to write and catch you all up on my summer thus far. I feel like all my blogs always have some sort of “theme” instead of me writing about the show that I watched or the new album that you have to listen to or whatever else pops into my head. So I’m hoping that with this blog, I can get back to simply writing for the joy and peace it brings me while still keeping that “themed/purposeful” content. Once you get done reading, I hope you’ll check out the other pages because I’m planning to update them all. A fresh start for this new season of life that I’ve entered! Also, if you’re not on my email list, you’re missing out! I’m excited to get back to those fun monthly updates and have plans to make the list even more exclusive. There may be early releases and access to other content so stay tuned.
It’s been so long since I’ve been on here like this. There’s so much to catch up on! Like, I’m starting to apply to colleges. Ahhhh! When I started this, I was about to head into my freshman year and now I’m turning eighteen (fifteen days but who’s counting) and graduating high school in a mere nine months. I’ve got my list of schools narrowed down and I’m planning on majoring in business or something related to that. I want to pair it with media or PR since the world is going to be expanding even more into the digital space in the future. Also planning on throwing French/European studies in there and eventually going to law school. Definitely not struggling with what my future looks like, just how to make it all fit.
And suddenly we jump forward four weeks! The quick highlights are as follows: My birthday was excellent. Being able to type this means that I survived the first week of senior year (!) And finally, I've got so many books to read. I did get some of those things on video so be sure to check out this week's vlog. My channel is linked under the YouTube tab!
I may or may not be writing this in AP European History while I'm supposed to be finishing a presentation but honestly, Spanish exploration in the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries is making me TIRED this morning. So to wake me up, let us discuss all my recommendations for food and stores and music and more! First of all, if you've never been to The Breakfast Club in the village or West Glenn, make a trip immediately! So so good! I tried the stuffed french toast and although my brother wasn't a fan, I loved it. First of all, it's on the starter menu so you won't get a huge plate. Second of all, the filling is fabulous! My brother, unfortunately, has no culture. To drink, I had a s'mores hot chocolate and it is every bit as dreamy as it sounds. It came in a coffee mug and while I was taking a sip, my whole body did an involuntary twitch (as one does at brunch in the middle of a crowded restaurant) which resulted in hot chocolate ALL OVER ME. My siblings thought it was hilarious. I was not as amused. Next up is cinnamon rolls from Smokey Row. Attached to pretty much every Hy-vee Fresh you'll find a Smokey Row. I'd had their coffee before (A+) but had never tried any pastries. And it is the biggest mistake of my life. These cinnamon rolls are......(loss for words). You must try them!! Following the coffeeshop trend is The Coffeesmith and Five Borough Bagels. The Coffeesmith recently dropped their fall drink lineup. I am obsessed with the pumpkin pie latte (hot not iced). Five Borough Bagels is New York-style bagels as well as coffee. I didn't know that was a thing but apparently New York-style can apply to everything. My go-to order is a bagel with mocha chip cream cheese and and an iced swiss mocha. Plus, they make each order fresh so.....
To be continued.....
The Blog in a Nutshell
Hi! Welcome to Fashion Fun and Extra, a blog run by Caroline Hill. A wheelchair user, podcaster, little sister, writer, and more, Caroline's unique view on life allows readers to take a glance into something they don't experience everyday. Told with humor, realness, remarkable wit, and a special kind bluntness, no blog will fail to entertain!