Skip to main content Logo search icon

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died

SA Updated
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died

Blog Tags

Search by Tag
Select existing or new tags and apply to your post.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has died peacefully at Balmoral Castle, Scotland.

The people of the South Hams, as well as nationally and internationally, have already started to mourn the woman that, for most people, will have been the only monarch they will have ever known.

Whether you are a committed royalist, a staunch anti-monarchist or something in between, this is a pivotal moment in history and a very sad day for millions around the country and the world, as well as for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

One thing is certain, she was an immovable constant in a sea of changing times. As Queen, she saw 15 British prime ministers come and go, met 14 American presidents, and saw the construction and destruction of the Berlin wall.

During her reign, Rosa Parks made her famous stand against racism and Martin Luther King Jr gave his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, DNA was discovered, JFK was assassinated, humans landed on the moon, the AIDS epidemic took hold, the Internet was invented, the Cold War began and ended, the EU was born, 9/11 happened, Saddam Hussein was overthrown and the smartphone was invented.

One of my personal favourite stories about Her Majesty the Queen, and proof that she was a badass, was when she essentially hazed the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah.

It was widely reported that Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles met the Queen when he was appointed ambassador to Saudi Arabia in 2003.

As he tells it, Her Majesty gleefully recounted when Abdullah first visited Balmoral and he was offered a tour of the estate. He agreed and the Royal Land Rovers were brought up the castle. The Crown Prince got into the front seat of the front Land Rover and his interpreter sat behind him.

But then, to his shock, the Queen climbed into the driver’s seat and drove off…at speed.

Women in Saudi Arabia were only allowed to drive in 2018, so the Crown Prince had never been driven by a woman before. Her Majesty, on the other hand, was an Army driver during the Second World War and very familiar with the narrow Scottish roads, so was skillfully throwing the Land Rover around the estate, while chatting away the whole time.

Apparently Abdullah, through his interpreter, urged the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road. She did not. What a legend.

Born in 1926, she was never born to be Queen. She only joined the line of succession following the abdication of her uncle Edward VIII, on 11 December, 1936, and her father became King George VI. She was 10 years old.

Her Majesty, and the whole Royal Family, have often visited the South Hams and have an affinity with Dartmouth through the Royal Naval College. It was there in 1939 that the then 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth first met her future husband of 73 years, Philip Mountbatten, a former prince of Greece and Denmark and her distant cousin.

Princess Elizabeth was in Dartmouth with her sister Margaret when the future Prince Philip apparently entertained the young princesses by jumping over tennis nets. They wrote to each other over the following years and their engagement was officially announced just after Her Majesty turned 21 in 1947.

The couple were married on 20 November, 1947, and together had four children - Charles, now King Charles III; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

It was Prince Philip that informed The Queen of the death of her father King George VI and her ascension to the throne on 6 February, 1952, while she was in Kenya on a royal tour. She was crowned on 2 June, 1953 at Westminster Abbey. It was the first ever coronation to be televised.

At the age of 21, she made a speech in which she dedicated her life to serving people across the Commonwealth, saying: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service”.

In 2015, she surpassed her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria's time spent on the throne, to become the country's longest-reigning monarch. Her lineage dates back to Norman King William the Conqueror in 1066.

Prince Philip, widely known as Her Majesty’s “rock” died in April 2021, aged 99. The country celebrated her Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years since her coronation, on 6 February, 2022.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died today, 8 September, at Balmoral, surrounded by her family. Her son, King Charles III, said the death of his beloved mother was a "moment of great sadness" for him and his family and that her loss would be "deeply felt" around the world.

King Charles said: "We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.

"I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world."

He will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms. Camilla, his wife, becomes Queen Consort.

During the coming period, he said he and his family would be "comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held".

The Chair of South Hams District Council, Cllr Lance Austen, said: “We have been extremely saddened by the news of the death of Her Majesty The Queen.

“She has served the Commonwealth for a historic 70 years, leading us all with grace and an unwavering sense of duty. The Queen’s dignity throughout her long and wonderful reign has never faltered and she is admired hugely across the world. We will warmly remember her.

“On behalf of South Hams District Council, our thoughts and sincere sympathies are with the Royal Family at this time of loss.

“Our flags have been lowered to half-mast during the mourning period, but will be raised briefly during this time to celebrate the proclamation of the new King.

“Our condolence books will be available to the public in our offices at Follaton House from 9am to 8pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm at the weekend. The books will first be available from 2pm tomorrow (9 September). However, you can also express your sympathies at the national online condolence e-book, which is available at

“If residents would like to show their respects to Her Majesty The Queen, you can leave flowers at the flagpole at Follaton House, or you can donate to one of The Queen’s charities. You can find a list of charities here:"

Rest in Peace Your Majesty, our thoughts are with your family and those who love you.


User comments

1 comment
At the age of 21, she made a speech in which she dedicated her life to serving people across the Commonwealth, saying: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service”.

75yrs later...
Job done, your majesty.
Report this comment Comments (0) | Was this comment helpful? 1 0

You might also be interested in

New recycling containers to be delivered to 8,000 South Hams homes
Category: General News
Around 8,000 homes in the South Hams are set to receive new recycling containers in the next five weeks, as South Hams District Council...
Impact of flash floods being examined
Category: General News
More than 140 properties are thought to have been flooded across Devon during the recent flash floods.
Free activities offered at Fusion leisure centres
Category: General News
The three Fusion sports centres in the South Hams in Dartmouth, Ivybridge and Quayside in Kingsbridge, are offering a day of free activities. ...
SHDC said it's "finished the year with their finances in a good position"
Category: General News
South Hams District Council has said it has "finished the year with their finances in a good position" moving ahead to the future. ...
South Hams District Council lays out plan for the next four years
Category: General News
South Hams District Council's Executive Committee set out their draft aims and ambitions for the next four years at a meeting on Thursday. ...
Police appeal for information after jewellery theft in Dartmouth
Category: General News
Police are appealing for the public's help to identify a man in connection with a jewellery theft in Dartmouth.