ALL things come to pass. Life is but a temporary thing on earth. These two phases come to my mind today as I write this column and think about Queen Elizabeth II of England who died at her Scottish estate of Balmoral on September 8, 2022 at the age of 96.
When people die, they leave everything behind them, especially their wealth and fame.
Queen Elizabeth was one of the planet’s most recognisable people and the only British monarch most people alive today have ever known. Now, she is gone and we are left with memories of how she was.
Tributes have been pouring in from all over the world. At the United Nations, the Secuirty Council held a minute of silence.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Queen Elizabeth had been “widely admired for her grace, dignity and dedication around the world” and that “she was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change.”
The queen was in her Platinum Jubilee Year, marking 70 years since she succeeded her father King George VI in 1952, when she died.
When she ascended the throne, she was just 25 years old, beautiful and in the prime of her life. Two days before she died, she was seen smiling in her last official photographs when she appointed Liz Truss as the 15th British prime minister of her reign which began with Winston Churchill in Downing Street.
However, in those last official photographs, the queen looked frail and leant on a walking stick.
In October 2021, she spent an unscheduled night in hospital for undisclosed health tests and after that the queen’s public appearances became rarer.
Like Queen Elizabeth, we will all age and pass away one day. So those of you who are young and beautiful or handsome now, remember this: All things will come to pass. Like life, beauty is also a temporary thing on earth. If you are slim and beautiful now, one day you will grow fat and cease to be beautiful.
Most ordinary folk are usually buried three days after they die. That is generally the custom among the Chinese and Ibans in Sarawak. However, most Muslims are buried on the same day they die.
Because Queen Elizabeth was England’s queen and head of state for 14 former British colonies including Australia and Canada, an elaborate funeral is being prepared for her.
In the meantime, her body will remain at Balmoral before it is taken to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. From there, her coffin will travel by train to London for a lying in state accessible to the public before the funeral.
Queen Elizabeth’s funeral is expected 11 days after her death. It will be the culmination of an official mourning period that began with her death on September 8, 2022.
Meanwhile, the royal household’s period of mourning is expected to last a month while the British government will observe at least 10 days of official remembrance.
Queen Elizabeth died about 17 months after the passing of her beloved husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the longest-serving royal consort in world history. Philip died at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2021, two months before his 100th birthday.
Since the death of Philip, the queen had been leaning on the primary pillars of her life — her family, faith and service to her kingdom — for support as she kept calm and carried on with life.
Though her death shocked many people, it was not unexpected because of her advanced age.
There is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth had lived a good life. She had beauty, power and love. Her husband loved her and she loved him too.
For many years, Queen Elizabeth had spent most of her summers at Balmoral, a country retreat for the royal family. Nobody expected her to die there. But then, that’s life. Nobody knows when he or she is going to die.
Nevertheless, although the queen had the keys to many royal residences, none is quite so dear to her as Balmoral Castle. It was, for her, a place bursting with happy memories.
She had been going there since she was a baby and Balmoral was where Prince Philip proposed to her and where they had their honeymoon.
Now, as pointed out by a national daily, the death of Queen Elizabeth marks the end of an era.
A new era has already begun for England and the world with Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son, Charles, 73, taking over her reign as King Charles III on September 9, 2022. Long live the king!
To conclude, remember, my friends, don’t be too attached to anything. One day, all things will come to pass. We are all here today, gone tomorrow.