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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

London Bridge has fallen

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Her majesty’s coffin arriving at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the resting place before the procession to St. Giles’ Cathedral on Sept. 12. Photo courtesy of @theroyalfamily on Instagram.

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, passed away Sept. 8 at her Scotland residence Balmoral Castle at the age of 96. She first became queen when she was 25 years old, serving as monarch for over 70 years. 

The United Kingdom began following Operation London Bridge after the queen’s death, the protocol for Elizabeth’s death. 

The 11 day plan covered the announcement of her death and the sequence of events leading up to her funeral, which took place 10 days after her passing. 

Within the plan, there are processions, services and the movement of her body from Balmoral Castle back to London, a plan called Operation Unicorn, which was made to go into effect if her death occurred outside of Buckingham Palace.

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Here at Wofford, there are many ties to England that are leaving students and faculty immersed in conversation. 

Sally Hitchmough, associate professor of English, heard of the queen’s passing during class. 

“A student announced the death of the queen right in the middle of class, so that was not a good way to find out,” Hitchmough said.

She never considered herself a royalist, but still found herself emotional as her and her husband, Alan Chalmers, associate professor of English, watched BBC and saw how the news was being perceived in Britain.

Though Hitchmough did not have any direct attachment to the queen, much of the older generations did.

“I think that for people my age, the queen is a connection with our parents, the generation just gone,” Hitchmough said. “For our parents, there was a particular affection for this queen who was so young when she acceded.”

“Because they were young during wartime, they understood what it meant to hold back personal need and emotion from public display, something that they read as gracious, and Elizabeth did that,” Hitchmough said.

Katelyn Lee ‘24, who is currently studying abroad with IES Study London, was able to watch this historic moment unfold.

“When the queen died, I had just gotten back from orientation, but all day we had been hearing rumors about her family traveling to Windsor to be with her and we were told there would be an announcement at 6 p.m. ,” Lee said. “When they announced her death, we all went to Buckingham Palace and got to experience how thousands of people in London came together.”

Lee and her friends she has met abroad talked about what would happen if the queen died when they were there but never expected it to happen.

“It has been very interesting to see and hear how the people of London feel about the queen’s death and the coronation of the new king, which we will also be here for,” Lee said.

The queen’s funeral took place on Monday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. in London. 

The state’s funeral was held at Westminster Abbey, whose guests included Heads of States as well as other VIPs before her burial next to her parents at King George VI’s Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle. 

The funeral was broadcast live on BBC starting at 5 a.m. EST.

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