Great Britain's longest-reigning monarch has passed away peacefully at the age of 96. A statement from the Royal Family states:

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.

Queen Elizabeth II was the head of the United Kingdom for 70 years, with her jubilee being celebrated just this past summer.

In her place, her oldest son Charles is now King Charles III, and his wife Camilla receives the title of Queen Consort. King Charles's first statement got shared on the Royal Family Twitter page:

The last official photos taken of Queen Elizabeth were shared this past Tuesday when she welcomed her 15th Prime Minister, Liz Truss, to office. (See photo above.)

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I've always loved following the monarchy. My family, best friends, and I latched onto the constant following of the royals back when William and Kate got married. We watched their wedding, we were on baby watch when her first due date drew near, and we rejoiced when Harry and Megan got engaged. Whenever something big happens we always make monster cookies to celebrate. Weird tradition, but it's what we do. This reigning family that seemingly has nothing to do with our country, is something that my family and friends bond over.

If any of us heard a tidbit about the Queen or her family we would share it with each other and give our commentary. A big thing we liked to share was memes of the Queen. We went WILD when it looked like she jumped from a plane at the London Olympics. My best friend and I mourned the loss of her corgi dogs when they would pass away.

I am obsessed with the Netflix show "The Crown", which even though is an exaggeration of the Queen's reign over England, I find absolutely fascinating. The fifth season of the show is set to air in November of 2022, and I don't know if this is going to alter that release date or not, but I can only imagine it will.

I have no ties whatsoever to England or this family, but I still somehow feel a deep connection to this loss. It's like losing a distant great-aunt that you knew of and never met, but still loved. My heart goes out to her family, as well as her country and commonwealths that feel this loss in leadership. An era ended with her passing, and a new one begins with King Charles III.

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