When Queen Elizabeth II died Thursday at the age of 96, plans were in place.
Her son Charles automatically became king. The queen had previously approved her own funeral plans — plans that King Charles III, as the current sitting monarch, was required to sign off on after her death — and as a monarch, she was automatically granted a state funeral, funded by the public. That funeral will be very large and will take place on Monday, Sept. 19.
While many details of death are universal, the death of a reigning monarch is a different affair. And as the queen has been in (mostly ceremonial) power since 1952, it's not something the Brits have had to manage for some time. Elizabeth ascended the throne in her 20s, after her father died. Her death leaves a series of questions, ranging from the serious and pressing to the more nuanced.
Salon gets to the bottom of some our most burning questions in the wake of the queen's death.
It is unclear how the divorced pair will handle custody arrangements of the dogs.
Nearly as pressing, especially if you're a corgi, the dogs beloved and raised by the queen will go to live with the Duke and Duchess of York, Andrew and Sarah, who both live at the Royal Lodge on the Windsor estate, despite being divorced since 1996. It is unclear how the divorced pair will handle custody arrangements of the dogs.
Even after her divorce, Sarah maintained a close friendship with the queen. Both women loved dogs and horses, and Sarah would walk dogs on the Windsor estate.
In 2019, Prince Andrew stepped back from public duties after mounting scrutiny over his associating with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In 2022, Andrew paid a settlement to a woman who accused him of sexual abuse and the case was dismissed by a judge.
Reportedly, the queen left behind two corgis named Sandy and Muick, as well as two other non-corgi dogs, a "dorgi" (corgi and dachshund mix) named Candy, and Lissy, a cocker spaniel. It is not clear if the non-corgis will live with Sarah and Andrew as well.
Images of Queen Elizabeth II appear on currency throughout the world. In 1953, the year after she took the throne, British coins featuring her image were first available. Seven years later, she was the first British monarch to have her photo on paper bills. Those bills and coins are still in circulation, as is currency in Commonwealth countries.
But now that she's gone, what will happen to them?
In a statement, the Bank of England confirmed that current bills with Elizabeth's image will stay legal tender. The statement also adds, "A further announcement regarding existing Bank of England banknotes will be made once the period of mourning has been observed." According to ABC News, Canada, which also has banknotes with the queen's image, plans no change. Neither do Australia or New Zealand, though Australia is planning a new $5 bill with Charles' image.
Charles will also appear on coins issued by the Royal Mint in Britain. Elizabeth faces right on her coin. Coin Charles, according to tradition, will face left. The new Chuck bucks and coins won't be seen until at least next year though.
There is an official royal beekeeper, 79-year-old John Chapple, and the day after the queen's death, he performed an actual task in his responsibility: informing the more than one million bees in his care that Queen Elizabeth had passed.
As Vanity Fair wrote, "Chapple placed black ribbons around the hives, and then told the busy workers inside the news. He also explained that King Charles III is now their new master, and that he will be good to them."
"You knock on each hive and say, 'The mistress is dead, but don't you go.'"
Chapple, who has been the palace beekeeper for 15 years, told the Daily Mail: "The person who has died is the master or mistress of the hives, someone important in the family who dies and you don't get any more important than the Queen, do you? You knock on each hive and say, 'The mistress is dead, but don't you go. Your master will be a good master to you.'"
The Daily Mail writes of the tradition of telling bees not only of deaths in the family, but important events like marriages and births: "If the custom was omitted or forgotten and the bees were not 'put into mourning' then it was believed a penalty would be paid, such as the bees leaving their hive, stopping the production of honey or dying." The British newspaper links the custom to European countries, but it's also a tradition that can be in found many places in America, including the South and New England.
Yes. Camilla has become what is known as Queen Consort. When Charles and Camilla married in a 2005 civil ceremony, Camilla took the title HRH The Princess Consort. Upon Charles' coronation, she will be known as Queen Camilla. Earlier this year, upon the occasion of the 70th anniversary of her accession, Queen Elizabeth said in a message that it was her "sincere wish" that Camilla became Queen Consort when Charles became king. The queen said, as reported by The Guardian, "And when, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife, Camilla, the same support that you have given me."
Charles' first wife was the beloved Princess Diana, who died tragically in 1997, one year after their divorce.
Along with Camilla's title change, Prince William and Kate Middleton, formerly known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are known now as the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge.
Though Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family, their children, Archie and Lilibet, are technically allowed to use the HRH title, as the offspring of a son of a sovereign. So, it could be Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. As of this writing, new titles have not been officially announced.
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