The Ecuadorian Rebeca Riofrío, one of the few Latin Americans who shared with her
The United Kingdom mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II
“The queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral tonight and return to London tomorrow.”
This statement posted at the entrance to Buckingham Palace at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2022 and broadcast by the BBC confirmed what was feared, but nobody said; since as of noon, after a message expressing the concern of the doctors for the health of his majesty, there was the cancellation of the changing of the guard ceremony, the interruption of the sessions of parliament, trills in which politicians sent his prayers to the queen and information on the journey of members of the royal family to the private residence in Scotland.
All these events aroused suspicion and kept the British pending until they officially learned that the queen, that woman with whom their lives, those of her children, and those of her grandchildren were connected had passed away. The impact of the news caused many to go to the different palaces to pay tribute to the person they believed to be everlasting until that day.
Rebeca Riofrío’s reaction
Very few Latin Americans had the opportunity to meet or share a few moments with the queen, including the Ecuadorian Rebeca Riofrío, president and director of the UK Parliamentary Society for the Arts, Fashion and Sports. Ecuador News asked Rebeca for her reaction to the death of Isabel II.
This is what he told us: “It has affected me a lot. It was known that the queen was going to die, she is human like everyone else and she was already 96 years old, but nobody prepares one to understand the
death of such a significant person. I had the pleasure of meeting her many years ago. She held a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2010 because I won the Business Award, an award that I also received in 2006. For me it was an honor, a privilege to meet her and her husband. I had the opportunity to speak with her, a wonderful person. You can’t explain the feeling you get when you meet her. I have won so many awards, but nothing compares to the Queen’s Award. I don’t think there is any queen like her in this life or the one to come.
She has been such a pillar in the UK in the midst of wars, of recessions, of so many
deaths. She was a mechanic in the war, she helped the Red Cross driving cars, bringing in the
wounded. She is a woman, a mother, a grandmother who has been working until Tuesday (when she met with the new Prime Minister Liz Truss). She is a person who has work in her veins. She has given me a lot of sadness, it is as if a relative had died. Here the prime ministers change, but she gives stability to the country”.
Rebeca’s affection for the sovereign led the society she presides over to organize a portrait contest of the queen last June as part of the official celebration of the Platinum Jubilee for her 70-year reign, an event that was a living tribute to the longest-serving monarch in British history.
The new king Dead Elizabeth II Prince Charles became king. He along with Camila, now the queen consort, and his sister Princess Anne were the only members of the royal family to arrive on time for the queen’s deathbed.
On Thursday in Scotland, King Charles III said: “The death of my dear mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is the saddest moment for me and all members of my family.”
The next day, in London, the new monarch gave an emotional message to the nation, promising to serve with loyalty, respect and love. While he thanked his dear mother for all her love and devotion.
On Saturday, September 10, the official proclamation of the new king took place at St James’s Palace in a symbolic and archaic ceremony that was televised for the first time. This tradition of loud trumpeting with three cheers for the king at the end was replicated in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.
Possible changes in the royal symbols
In seven decades of reign there are countless symbols of the crown with the image, the initials, the seal of the deceased, such as the flags and insignia of military regiments, coins, banknotes, the royal shields used in government buildings and documents.
Some businesses or exclusive products have the queen’s guarantee. When you acquire British nationality, you pledge or swear allegiance to the Queen. The mailboxes have the initials EIIR with the new king changing to CIIIR and even the national anthem will have to be replaced with God save the King instead of God save the Queen. All these changes will be made little by little and will depend on what the new monarch decides.
The queen died at Balmoral Castle located in the Scottish region of Aberdeenshire. On Sunday, September 11, her coffin was transferred to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
On September 12 she was veiled at St Giles Cathedral in the Scottish capital.
The funeral procession is due to arrive in London on Tuesday, but from Wednesday 14 September the coffin will remain for 5 days in Westminster Hall, where the public can pay their respects.
On Monday, September 19, the state funeral will take place, attended by presidents, world leaders and monarchs from other countries. The religious ceremony will be held at Westminster Abbey from where the funeral carriage will leave for Windsor Castle, in whose chapel a mass will be offered and finally Elizabeth II will be buried in the royal mausoleum next to her husband, Prince Philip.
With these obsequies the Elizabethan Era will end and a new chapter will open in the history of the British monarchy.
By Doris Noboa
Ecuador News Correspondent in London