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Will the cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death be made public?

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on 8 September but the details of the cause of her death are unlikely to be made public.

Update:
Members of the public stand in the queue as they wait in line to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, in London on September 15, 2022.
STEPHANE DE SAKUTINGetty

The death of Queen Elizabeth II last week sent shockwaves around the world. The longest-serving British monarch in history, the sovereign was also the longest-serving female head of state ever and had seemed to be in good health just two days before she passed away on 8 September as she hosted the incoming prime minister, Liz Truss, at Balmoral. Although she had been experiencing mobility issues for some time, the queen was not known to have been suffering from any illness.

As such, royal commentators and observers were taken aback by the suddenness with which the queen was placed under medical supervision at Balmoral just over a week ago. She had made a few public appearances in the wake of the covid-19 crisis and after contracting the illness herself in March. She attended a military parade in her honour during celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee and had made regular appearances on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for subsequent events. However, she had reportedly been feeling more and more discomfort from standing for long periods of time and had taken to using a walking stick. The queen had been suffering from what Buckingham Palace had called “episodic mobility problems” since the end of last year, forcing her to withdraw from nearly all her public engagements.

Still, she remained active despite those challenges and had been scheduled to attend an online meeting of the Privy Council the day after hosting Truss and her predecessor, Boris Johnson, at Balmoral.

William, Prince of Wales, meets people gathered outside Sandringham Estate, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth.
Full screen
William, Prince of Wales, meets people gathered outside Sandringham Estate, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth.MARKO DJURICAREUTERS

Cause of queen’s death unlikely to be made public

There has been plenty of speculation as to the cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death but the details of her passing away are unlikely to ever be released into the public sphere. The royal family tend to take privacy in matters such as these very seriously and there was no official reason given for Prince Philip’s death in April 2021, despite the queen’s husband having undergone heart surgery a few weeks earlier. According to various sources, the 99-year-old duke was simply stated to have died of “old age” by Professor Huw Thomas, the head of the royal Medical Household and personal physician to Queen Elizabeth.

The monarch herself was 96 years old when she passed away and had sprained her back as well as contracting covid-19 over the course of the past year.

Crowds gather to pay respects to Queen Elizabeth

The body of the late Queen Elizabeth is now lying in state in London’s ancient Westminster Hall, where tens of thousands are waiting patiently in line to pay their final respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

These events are taking place against the backdrop of an outpouring of grief, affection, and gratitude for people in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and across the world,” said the Earl Marshal, Edward Fitzalan-Howard, the Duke of Norfolk, England’s most senior peer who is in charge of state occasions.

The queen held a unique and timeless position in all our lives. It is our aim and belief that the state funeral and events of the next few days will unite people across the globe,” he told reporters.

As he spoke, the queue to see the queen’s coffin stretched more than 4 miles along the south bank of the River Thames, past such landmarks as Tower Bridge, crossing Lambeth Bridge as it neared Westminster Hall.

Officials expect about 750,000 people to view the coffin before the lying in state ends on Monday morning.

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