Queen Elizabeth II is dead at 96 after a 70+ year reign that is said to be the second-longest recorded among monarchs of sovereign countries, and the longest in the United Kingdom’s history. As queen of 15 total sovereign states, including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, she will be succeeded by Prince Charles III, now King. Heir to the throne is 40 year old Charles’ son Prince William, Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge.
The royal family, and greater Europe, is in tumultuous times. Most recently, Boris Johnson is out as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party. In recent years, Elizabeth II’s grandson Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s exit from the monarchy and subsequent move to the United States have been a tabloid mainstay, along with the association between convicted sex offenders Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell and that of her son Andrew, Duke of York. Amid these revelations, researchers are bringing up details, old and new, of notorious pedophile and cult leader Jimmy Saville and his ties to the Crown and the state-run BBC, much of which is no longer contained to discreditable news alternatives.
All of these events can be seen as a mixture between being both the cause of, and the result of, an awakening that has been brewing among citizens in the U.K. as it has across the world. These events may ultimately be permanent stains on a once revered and respected institution.