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It’s the End of the Elizabethan Era. What Happens Now That the Queen is Dead?

September 9, 2022

Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled the United Kingdom for 70 years, died on Thursday at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The royal family has not yet disclosed the cause of death. She was 96 when she passed.

She was not only her country’s longest-serving monarch, having several years ago surpassed her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, whose reign lasted 63 years, but the whole modern world’s longest-serving monarch. She has seen 14 U.S. presidents and 15 prime ministers cycle through office in her reign. She is considered a very successful monarch, and beloved by the people of the U.K.

Since the vast majority of people on Earth have never known another ruler of England—or lived through the coronation of a new one— we are all left wondering what happens now. 

Will there be a dip in the economy? Will the image on the pound change to that of King Charles III? Will the verse of the national anthem that says “God save the Queen” remain or change to “God save the King”? Will countries like Australia, Canada, and Jamaica move to become a republic? 

These are some of the questions I’ve played over in my head since the sad news of her death was announced. I went on a little digging and researching and have come up with a list of answers to some of the questions that plagued my curiosity.

What happens now that the Queen is dead?

Firstly, Her passing means that the U.K. now has a new ruler: her eldest son, Charles, himself 73 years old. He is now officially King Charles III.

Below is a list of things that will change now that Charles is King.

The national anthem will revert to the original version 

Following the accession of Charles, the British national anthem will slightly change. It will return to being God Save the King, having been God Save the Queen during Elizabeth II’s reign, and “her victorious” will change to “him victorious” to mark that King Charles III has now taken over as monarch.

When will God Save the King be sung for the first time? The first official rendition of God Save the King will be sung at St Paul’s Cathedral at the end of a memorial service for the Queen.

The face on the UK currency will change

Following the Queen’s death, notes and coins currently in circulation will be replaced with the face of King Charles III. This means that a new portrait of Charles will be commissioned, from which millions of pounds worth of new currency will be printed by the Royal Mint and distributed across the UK.

The Bank of England said notes featuring Queen Elizabeth II will still be considered legal money that can be exchanged, and that an additional announcement about the country’s existing notes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed.

According to Guinness World Records, the Queen’s image features on the currency of 35 countries worldwide – more than any other monarch. These include Canada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Fiji and Cyprus, where she appears on some notes and coins due to her position as head of the Commonwealth.

What will happen to our stamps?

Similar to the notes and coins, new stamps featuring King Charles III will slowly be pumped into circulation. Any current stamps you own with the Queen on will still be eligible for usage.

What of the Commonwealth?

Naturally, the Queen is head of countries that are members of the Commonwealth, including Canada, Australia, Newzealand, Jamaica, and others. But that doesn’t mean King Charles III will automatically have the same post. The position of Head of the commonwealth does not automatically pass to the Queen’s successor but must be chosen collectively by the commonwealth heads of government. 

There is a concrete possibility the commonwealth as we know it will cease to exist. The queen’s passing gives British colonies an opportunity to break the link to the British crown and become a republic.

What else will happen now that the Queen is dead?

– The London stock exchange will be closed on the day of her funeral which will impact the economy.

– There will be a statutory holiday in the UK and the same may take place in commonwealth realms, at the discretion of their government

– Police will get new insignia on their helmets, passports will be updated, as well as military insignia.

Will there ever be a Queen again? 

It’s definitely all about the gents for the foreseeable future. After Charles, it’s his son, William, then the toddler George, and then presumably the firstborn child of George that will take the throne. If for some reason George doesn’t go for the crown, it’ll go to Princess Charlotte, William and Kate’s second child. That would be a big deal, as she would be the first female monarch to take the throne when there was a male alternative (her younger brother, Louis). That’s because, in 2013, succession laws were finally updated to place girls on equal footing with boys.

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  • Avatar
    Reply Xtopher+Ojile September 10, 2022 at 3:05 pm

    For a coronation to happen in our lifetime is actually a blessing. Nice write-up…

  • Avatar
    Reply Anonymous September 10, 2022 at 5:55 pm

    Great write-up!

  • Avatar
    Reply Suz September 11, 2022 at 2:23 am

    Quite insightful. Anticipating the Coranation and also looking forward to all the changes that will happen with King Charles as the new Monarch.

  • Avatar
    Reply M September 11, 2022 at 5:27 pm

    Insightful piece of art.
    I can see you are a royal fan..

    • Avatar
      Reply Mary Ojile September 12, 2022 at 1:33 pm

      It’s nothing personal, just journalism.

  • Avatar
    Reply Anthonia September 13, 2022 at 8:42 am

    The writer’s diction makes assimilation easy and ensures a sweet journey from start to finish of the article.

    This was indeed a very rewarding and insightful read.

    I look forward to the reign of King Charles.

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