Royals

It’s been one year since Queen Elizabeth’s passing…

We look at all the ways in which the royal family has changed, and how her death anniversary is being marked.

On September 8, 2022, Queen Elizabeth II passed away, aged 96.

The Queen was the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch; just months before her death, she celebrated 70 years on the throne at her Platinum Jubilee, held in February 2022.

But now as of September 8, 2023, it’s been a full year since Queen Elizabeth’s death; so you may be wondering how the British royal family will mark the anniversary and what has happened to them during the last year…

Queen Elizabeth II.

How are the royal family honouring Queen Elizabeth one year after her death?

There was no official public event held in honour of Queen Elizabeth on the one year anniversary of her death.

However, King Charles issued the following message addressing his mother’s passing.

“In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us,” he said.

“I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.”

The King also chose to release this image of Queen Elizabeth, captured at Buckingham Palace on October 16, 1968, by Cecil Beaton in honour of the anniversary.

Image Credit: Royal Collection Trust/His Majesty King Charles III

What happened after the Queen died?

Queen Elizabeth was mourned all around the world.

As per tradition, after the Queen’s death, the United Kingdom observed a national mourning period of 10 days and Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was brought to Westminster Hall for her lying in state. It’s estimated that over 250,000 people queued to pay their respects during the late Queen’s lying in state.

After lying in state for five days, Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral took place on September 19 at Westminster Abbey. It’s been suggested that roughly 4 billion people tuned in to watch her funeral, which was televised all around the world.

While there’s no way to verify exactly how many people watched the funeral, it has been verified that 28 million people living in the UK, 1.4 million people living in the United States and 3.9 million people living in Australia tuned in to watch.

King Charles III at his coronation.

Prince Charles became King

Charles, Queen Elizabeth’s eldest child, immediately ascended the throne once she died and became King Charles III. But he didn’t have his formal coronation ceremony until May of this year.

During his coronation, which was held at Westminster Abbey, Charles was anointed, blessed and consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Charles was then officially crowned with the crown of St Edward.

Camilla, Charles’ wife, was also crowned as Queen Consort during the coronation.

Among the many guests at King Charles’ coronation were Prince William, Princess Catherine, Prince Harry, Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik, Princess Anne, Princess Beatrice, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Katy Perry and Emma Thompson.

Prince William, Princess Catherine and their three children George, Charlotte and Louis.

Prince William and Princess Catherine became the Prince and Princess of Wales

After Queen Elizabeth died, the entire order of succession to the British throne changed. Many members of the British royal family had their official titles changed too.

For instance, Prince William and Princess Catherine became the Prince and Princess of Wales – titles previously held by King Charles and the late Princess Diana.

You can see the current order of succession here.

A copy of Prince Harry's memoir Spare.

Prince Harry released a tell-all memoir

In January 2023, four months after his grandmother’s passing, Prince Harry – who along with his wife Meghan Markle officially stepped back from their royal duties in 2020 – released a tell-all memoir: Spare.

And interestingly, the book detailed how Harry found out about the Queen’s passing.

Harry recalled in Spare that his father Charles called him and told him that the Queen’s health “had taken a turn.” Harry says he immediately texted his brother William after this call and asked when and how he and Catherine were flying to Balmoral to be with Queen Elizabeth in her final moments.

The Duke of Sussex wrote that William never responded to this text message. However, he did receive another call from Charles. Harry claims that Charles told him he was welcome to come see the Queen at Balmoral but Meghan was not.

So, Harry jumped on a plane to the Scottish residence on his lonesome but he was too late; when Harry landed, he checked the BBC’s website and saw that Queen Elizabeth had died while he was flying.

“Granny was gone. Pa was King,” Harry wrote.

The British royal family.

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