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Inside Queen Elizabeth II’s final royal engagement, a ‘devoted’ monarch to service

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Queen Elizabeth II’s final royal engagement took place on Tuesday, September 6, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She appointed new Prime Minister Liz Truss just days before her death.

On her 21st birthday in 1947, then-Princess Elizabeth went on the radio and made a promise to Britain and her Commonwealth nations.

At the time, she promised that “all my life, whether short or long, will be devoted to your service”. The long-reigning monarch has fulfilled that vow over the years, including with Tuesday’s engagement.

In the past, the meeting between the new Prime Minister and the Queen always took place at Buckingham Palace in London. However, the location has been changed due to the Queen’s mobility issues and potential inability to return to London, making it the first time in 70 years that this ceremonial tradition has taken place outside the Palace of Buckingham.

Queen Elizabeth II’s last royal engagement was the appointment of new Prime Minister Liz Truss at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
(Jane Barlow/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, LONGEST REIGNING BRITISH MONARCH, DEAD AT 96

At the meeting, the monarch traditionally asks the new prime minister to form a government to be sworn in later. Truss and his newly appointed Cabinet members were due to be sworn in at the Privy Council meeting on Wednesday, but this was postponed after doctors advised the Queen to rest.

“After a busy day yesterday, Her Majesty this afternoon accepted the advice of doctors to rest,” the palace said in a statement. “This means that the Privy Council meeting that was supposed to take place this evening will be rearranged.”

“She remained determined to carry out her duties by appointing me her 15th Prime Minister.”

— Liz Truss, British Prime Minister

The Queen had experienced bouts of mobility issues and had been walking with a cane since October 2021. In November 2021, the monarch decided not to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony because she had a sprained back.

The Queen had taken a step back from many of her royal duties and instead entrusted her son, who became King Charles, with more responsibility. Her grandson Prince William has also taken on more responsibility and made appearances as a senior royal.

The Queen died at Balmoral Castle on Thursday aged 96. Many, including Truss, remember her for her unwavering devotion to her country and the crown.

“Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country grew and prospered under her rule. Britain is the great country it is today because of her,” she said. said Truss during a speech on BBC News.

Queen Elizabeth greets newly elected leader of the Conservative Party Liz Truss as she arrives at Balmoral Castle for an audience on September 6, 2022.

Queen Elizabeth greets newly elected leader of the Conservative Party Liz Truss as she arrives at Balmoral Castle for an audience on September 6, 2022.
(Jane Barlow/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

“Earlier this week, at age 96, she remained determined to carry out her duties by appointing me her 15th Prime Minister.”

Queen Elizabeth began her reign in 1952 at just 25 when her father, King George VI, died in his sleep. Earlier this year, the Queen celebrated 70 years of reign with a platinum jubilee.

Following news of his passing, world leaders around the world spoke out, expressing their condolences to the royal family and paying tribute to the late monarch. President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden called her “the first British monarch with whom people around the world could feel a personal and immediate connection”. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon described her life as “extraordinary dedication and service”.

The Queen ascended the throne in 1952 at the age of 25 after her father died in his sleep from illness.

The Queen ascended the throne in 1952 at the age of 25 after her father died in his sleep from illness.
(Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

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Hollywood also flooded social media with condolences, noting her dedication to service.

Elton John wrote that the Queen “has led the country through some of our greatest and darkest times with grace, decency and genuine benevolent warmth”.

JK Rowling said: “She did her duty to the country until her last hours and became an enduring and positive symbol of Britain around the world. She has earned her rest.”

“It is as if we have lost a friend: a devoted monarch who inspired us all with her love, wisdom and grace,” Dame Julie Andrews said in a statement. “May we honor her by upholding the standards she has set for herself and her nation.”

Dame Julie Andrews has praised the Queen for inspiring everyone with her love and wisdom, urging her fans to uphold the standard the Queen has set for her nation.

Dame Julie Andrews has praised the Queen for inspiring everyone with her love and wisdom, urging her fans to uphold the standard the Queen has set for her nation.
(Getty)

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The Queen officially became England’s longest-serving British monarch in 2015 when she overtook the reign of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Queen Elizabeth occupied the throne for 70 years and holds the record for the second longest reigning monarch in the world, second only to French King Louis XIV, who reigned for 72 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report