This article was originally published on September 9. It was updated on September 16.
On September 8, Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral castle, in Scotland. She served as Great Britain’s head of state for 70 years. Her reign spanned 15 British prime ministers and 14 United States presidents. She was 96.
“You can’t actually quite imagine her not being there,” Sally Cherry told TIME. Cherry was one of the mourners who gathered outside of Buckingham Palace, in London, England. “I don’t think you’ll see a reign like that again.”
Elizabeth became queen in 1952, after the death of her father, King George VI. As queen, she did not have governing power. Her duties included traveling the world as her nation’s goodwill ambassador. But she could appoint British prime ministers, with whom she held regular meetings. Two days before she died, Elizabeth met with Britain’s new prime minister, Liz Truss.
After several days of national mourning, a funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey, in London, on September 19. In an earlier statement, Elizabeth’s son Charles, who is now king, said: “I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country . . . and by countless people around the world.”
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