Serving till the end: Queen Elizabeth hosted newly elected PM Liz Truss at Balmoral just hours before death
BALMORAL CASTLE, SCOTLAND: The moving last image of Queen Elizabeth II depicts the long-reigning monarch giving her all to her nation. Just 48 hours after publicly naming Liz Truss as the new Prime Minister of Britain, the Queen died peacefully on Thursday, September 8, 2022, at the age of 96 in Scotland. The conservative MP was invited by the Queen to Balmoral Castle on Tuesday to take part in a historic swearing-in ritual called "kissing of hands". Over the course of her 70-year reign, Elizabeth II appointed 13 British Prime Ministers, and she frequently presided over important ceremonies at Buckingham Palace in London.
However, as the Queen was unable to return from Scotland to the British capital due to mobility issues, Truss flew up to meet the monarch instead. The last photos taken of the Queen were from their meeting, and they show the royal doggedly carrying out her responsibilities despite looking feeble and in great pain. The monarch, who died two days later, smiled while wearing a checkered skirt, a grey cardigan, and a light blue button-down. Elizabeth II carried her familiar black handbag and walked with a stick like any other elderly grandma. The Queen's right hand was visibly bruised in a dark blue color.
The Queen’s deteriorating health had been in the headlines since October 2021 when she was spotted using a walking stick for the first time since 2004. An insider said at the time that the assistance was for her comfort.
Later that month, the Queen was taken to the hospital, forcing her to postpone her journey to Ireland until after she had resumed her royal duties. In May, a Buckingham Palace statement revealed that the Queen would reluctantly miss a royal engagement due to mobility problems. The decision was made in consultation with her doctors, according to the palace.
The monarch, meanwhile, also missed Royal Ascot in June 2022 for the first time since she was crowned seven decades earlier and skipped out on various activities during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations because she was feeling discomfort. The death of the beloved monarch came on Thursday evening British time, just hours after Buckingham Palace announced that her doctors had been "concerned for Her Majesty’s health".
After the Queen passed away, Truss released a statement outside of her London home at 10 Downing Street in which she expressed her sorrow. She said, "Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built. Our country has grown and flourished under her reign. Britain is the great country it is today because of her."
Calling the late monarch the "very spirit of Great Britain", Truss added, "Her life of service stretched beyond most of our living memories. In return, she was loved and admired by the people in the United Kingdom and all around the world."
In addition, the prime minister extended her sympathies to King Charles III, who succeeded his mother as monarch. "We offer him our loyalty and devotion just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long. With the passing of the second Elizabethan Age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country exactly as her majesty would have wished by saying the words: God save the King,” Truss remarked.
"Queen Elizabeth II was the rock on which modern Britain was built"— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 8, 2022
Prime Minister Liz Truss pays tribute to the Queen Elizabeth II, who has died aged 96https://t.co/qmv4KQNpMs pic.twitter.com/TVoyQ4Grb0