Front Page Talking Points


Death of Queen Elizabeth II in Britain ends a historic seven-decade reign


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Sweeping phrases fill global coverage of a monarch's death in the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth II, who reigned over the Britain and 14 other British Commonwealth countries (including Canada), died Thursday at 96 in Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was the longest-serving queen ever, on the throne for 69 years and the only royal family leader most Britons have known. Her eldest son, King Charles III, follows his mother into the ceremonial role dating back many centuries.

The queen's flag-draped coffin, with a crown on top, is in London's Westminster Palace as members of the public file past to pay respects. Her funeral will be at Westminster Abbey in London next Monday, when British offices, shops, factories and most other businesses will close on a day of national mourning. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to attend the ceremony. "We will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest," the new king said in a videotaped address. "In our sorrow, let us remember and draw strength from the light of her example."

Elizabeth was crowned at age 25 in 1953, just eight years after World War II ended. Fifteen prime ministers served under her — from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, who was sworn in by the frail queen just two days before the death was announced. "She's been a thread winding through all our lives,” tweeted British author J.K. Rowling, who wrote the seven "Harry Potter" books. "She did her duty by the country right up until her dying hours, and became an enduring, positive symbol of Britain all over the world."

In our country, a British colony until 1783, President Biden -- the 14th U.S. president during her tenure -- called the queen "a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States." American TV networks sent news anchors to London and began tribute programs the day of her death. A Washington Post editorial states: "For more than 70 years, Elizabeth II symbolized stability, and Britain was the better for it."

New monarch says: "Wherever you may live in the United Kingdom, or in the realms and territories across the world, and whatever may be your background or beliefs, I shall endeavor to serve you with loyalty, respect and love." – King Charles III on Friday in his first speech since inheriting the throne

British Prime minister says: "Britain is the great country it is today because of her. . . . Through thick and thin, Queen Elizabeth II provided us with the stability and the strength that we needed." – Liz Truss, in office since Sept. 6

U.S. senator says: "The British people's loss is the entire world's loss. We Americans join our friends in . . . gratitude for such a remarkable leader and such a successful reign." -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for, Copyright 2023

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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.