Elizabeth II died at 3:10 p.m. local time (4:10 p.m., Spanish peninsular time), on September 8 at Balmoral Castle. The cause of her death, according to the registered death certificate on the Scottish National Register and made public this Thursday, was the “advanced age” (old age) of the monarch.
The public document, with registration number 1.0789.978, will not put an end to the legends and rumors surrounding the death of the oldest monarch in the history of the United Kingdom, but it does at least establish an official cause – albeit ambiguous – for everything what happened that Thursday in which for several hours the world press rambled and speculated about an official statement that was limited to stating that “the queen’s doctors were concerned about her health.”
The queen is dying, the queen has been dead since early in the morning, the queen suffered from bone cancer… The rumours, half-truths and conjectures with which digital media, radio and television fueled the uncertainty disappeared from the moment the Palace of Buckingham blackened the background of its website and announced the death. At 6:31 p.m. local time (7:31 p.m., Spanish peninsular time), the BBC, the only official channel for all purposes during those feverish hours, confirmed and announced the news.
Isabell II had already died three hours and twenty minutes ago, the time necessary for the entire royal family to be together, in Balmoral; the newly appointed prime minister, Liz Truss, and the relevant authorities would have been informed of what had happened; and would have launched London Bridge operationthe code name under which the entire script unfolded for 11 days of mourning had been designed for years.
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Elizabeth II was 96 years old. She endured at the foot of the canyon until 48 hours before her death. She received Boris Johnson at Balmoral, who presented her resignation, and commissioned Truss — her fifteenth prime minister — to form a new government. That she died because of her advanced age may now seem obvious, but in those days when her frailty was evident, no one yet questioned that she would long remain a necessary and irreplaceable part of the British landscape.