Yesterday, Thursday September 9, at Balmoral in Scotland, the Queen of England went the way of all mortals at a celebrated and ripe age of 96.
Her death, which followed that of her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, marked a decent end to a life well-lived to the fullest by every parameter of human expectation.
She was a quintessential leader: an astute diplomat, a cherished sovereign, a mother, who was ready to lead from the front and let the world know and feel the weight of the power of the United Kingdom.
If there was anyone who was prepared for the role of the monarch, she was one.
Queen Elizabeth was born in Mayfair, London, as the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Her father acceded to the throne in 1936 upon the abdication of his brother, King Edward VIII, making Elizabeth the heir presumptive.
As World War II erupted, Elizabeth was quietly groomed for statehood.
While living out the Blitz on London in nearby Windsor Castle, she was privately tutored in matters of constitution by Henry Marten, an eccentric yet respected teacher who reputedly kept a pet raven in his study.
She began taking tentative steps into public life in 1940 when, aged 14, she made her first radio broadcast: a speech to children displaced by the conflict. At 16, she was made an honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards, a British army infantry regiment.
Elizabeth’s death comes seven months after she marked the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, yet another milestone achievement in the remarkable life of a queen who, though reluctantly thrust into the spotlight at a young age, won almost universal praise for her steadfast dedication to duty.
Her long reign, Barry Neild, writes saw Britain transformed from a war-weary declining imperial power into a modern multi-cultural state that rarely looked to its monarch for leadership, but still held her in high esteem.
Elizabeth, is survived by four children and a grateful world. May her soul rest in perfect peace