We look back on the life of an extraordinary woman and an extraordinary life of unwavering duty and service
9 September 2022| Last updated on 9 September 2022
Throughout her 70-year reign, the queen had witnessed history being made and was a part of it.
On Thursday September 8th, 2022, Britain's longest-reigning monarch passed away peacefully at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle. She was surrounded by her family and loved ones, including her eldest son Charles who is now the new King of Britain.
The late Queen Elizabeth II will be sadly missed by not only her citizens in the UK, but also by so many around the world, from global leaders and public figures to British expats away from home.
Over in the UAE, British expats mourn the loss of a beloved figurehead and symbol of stability.
Life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II
Born on April 21, 1926 as Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, she was third in line to the throne after her uncle and father. In 1936, her uncle King Edward VIII abdicated making way for the next successor King George VI, which granted her a direct inheritance of the crown. Following the death of her father, she became a young queen in 1952 at the age of 25.
According to official recount, when King George VI passed away in his sleep, Princess Elizabeth was away on a safari holiday in Kenya.
"She became Queen while in a perch in a tree in Africa, watching the rhinoceros come down to the pool to drink," wrote diplomat Harold Nicolson.
A member of the royal party said that around sunrise, estimated to be the same time when the King had died, an eagle soared over the princess' head in a rare auspicious occurrence.
As the UK's longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth's 70 years of rule has seen Britain transform throughout a roiling century. Decade after decade, she was an admired and popular icon for her endurance, grace, and devotion to her country and the Commonwealth and its people.
Image: PA Media
"She has throughout her reign managed to make people feel that she is the spirit and the soul of the country," commented Clive Irving, author of 'The Last Queen: How Queen Elizabeth II Saved the Monarchy'. He added: "She gives over a maternal feeling. She’s a safe pair of hands at the top. No one else has ever been able to convey that as she did."
Above all we will remember an extraordinary woman and an extraordinary life of unwavering duty and service.
Watch Queen Elizabeth II's playful humour and wit:
While the Queen maintained an image of grace and public royal stoicism, she was also known for being a witty person who liked a good prank, even when she was on the receiving end of it.
This lovely video from The Guardian showcases the Queen's incredible sense of humour, from her off-mic quips and her famous tea scene with beloved fictional character, Paddington Bear.
UAE leaders share condolences and tribute to Queen Elizabeth II
Leaders of the Emirates have paid tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II, with the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed posting on Twitter: "I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Queen Elizabeth II and the people of the UK. Her Majesty was a close friend of the UAE and a beloved and respected leader whose long reign was characterised by dignity, compassion and a tireless commitment to serving her country."
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, who had known the Queen for many years, said: "We join the world in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, a global icon who represented the finest qualities of her nation and people. Her incredible lifetime of service and duty to the United Kingdom is unparalleled in our modern world."
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, shared his sentiments and described her as a "Queen of love, wisdom and humanity. The world will miss you.”