By KASSY DILLON
Queen Elizabeth II concluded her 70-year reign on Thursday, Sept. 8, with her death at the age of 96.The longest ruling monarch in British history’s death comes after years of deteriorating health. She was surrounded by the royal family including her children at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
“The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
The queen has been succeeded by her son Charles, Prince of Wales, who is married to Camilla, duchess of Cornwall.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid took to Twitter to express condolences, calling the Queen “an extraordinary figure, a unique leader who symbolized devotion and love for her homeland.”
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog called the Queen’s death “the end of an era.”
“On behalf of the people of Israel, I mourn her passing and participate in the heavy mourning of the grieving British people and the British League of Nations, who lost the mother of the nation. She was a historical figure—lived the history, created history and left a glorious and inspiring legacy,” he wrote on Twitter, extending his condolences to King Charles and the royal family.
“During her long and significant tenure, the world changed dramatically, and in the face of this change she was a symbol of stable and responsible leadership, and a beacon of morality, humanity and patriotism,” he added. “In her life and in her service to her people, she reflected the spirit of deep-rooted tradition, integrity and mission.”
Michael Goldstein, president of the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue body in Europe, called the Queen “a constant for generations of United Synagogue members, the wider Jewish community and the nation at large.”
“Since 1952, when Her Majesty the Queen ascended to the throne, there have been more than a dozen versions of the Prayer for the Royal Family to reflect changes to the royal family: marriages and, sadly, deaths,” he said. “The one constant in the prayer throughout the last 70 years has been ‘Our Sovereign Lady, Queen Elizabeth.’”
“With a heavy heart, we shall now be issuing a new prayer to our communities as we join together to pray that God blesses our new king and puts a spirit and wisdom into his heart and into the heart,” he added.
“Along with so many others, Jewish citizens of the British Commonwealth will deeply mourn the loss of Her Majesty The Queen—she was a steadfast friend of the Jewish community throughout the many decades of her reign,” said Michael Dickson, the executive director of Stand With Us Israel on Twitter. “May the memory of Queen Elizabeth II be a blessing.”
The queen began her reign in 1953 at the age of 25, succeeding her father King George VI. She was married to Philip Mountbatten, duke of Edinburgh, for 73 years until his passing in April 2021. She ruled during key world events including the Cold War, the decolonization of Africa, Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic.