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Britain mourns Queen Elizabeth II and prepares for its first king in seven decades

September 9, 2022, 11:49 AM UTC
Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle in April 2022.
An outpouring of condolences for the royal family immediately followed Buckingham Palace’s announcement of the passing of Elizabeth II.
Dominic Lipinski—WPA Pool/Getty Images

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! MacKenzie Scott adds a twist to her philanthropy, Europe’s central bank introduces its largest interest rate hike yet, and Britain mourns the only monarch most people remember. Have a restful weekend.

– God save the queen. For nine in 10 people on the planet, today is their first day waking up to a British monarch other than Queen Elizabeth II. The 96-year-old died yesterday after 70 years on the throne, the longest reign in British history and the second-longest for any monarch in the history of the world.

Who was the queen? Her innermost thoughts and opinions have been endlessly imitated and imagined, but she kept her true feelings to herself. Instead, she projected a steadiness in times of uncertainty, from her dispatches as a young Princess Elizabeth during World War II to the calmness she maintained in the face of the U.K.’s exit from the European Union.

Regardless of differing opinions on the existence of a hereditary monarchy, the queen saw her duty as sacred. Just this week, she mustered the strength to meet her 15th and final prime minister, Liz Truss, and invite the politician to form a new government—among the monarch’s most important duties and one she wouldn’t forgo.

Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle in April 2022.
An outpouring of condolences for the royal family immediately followed Buckingham Palace’s announcement of the passing of Elizabeth II.
Dominic Lipinski—WPA Pool/Getty Images

When Queen Victoria died in 1901 after serving as Britain’s prior longest-serving monarch with 63 years on the throne, crowds lined the streets of London. People similarly gathered outside Buckingham Palace yesterday to mourn Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter. “She’s been the queen for as long as I’ve been alive, she’s been the queen for as long as my parents have been alive,” one mourner told the agency AFP.

The queen’s death triggered the long-planned Operation London Bridge, outlining procedures for the monarch’s death through her funeral, which is set to be held 10 days later. The country followed a similar protocol when the queen lost her husband, Prince Philip, in 2021.

Her death severs one of the U.K.’s last living links to colonialism; her father held the title of emperor and Ghana celebrated its independence five years into her reign. Already, former colonies that still retain the British monarch as head of state, like Barbados, have started to remove the ceremonial association. With a new monarch, that trend could accelerate.

The crown now passes to the former Prince Charles, now the 73-year-old King Charles III. William and Kate are now the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and are expected to inherit the titles Prince and Princess of Wales, the latter of which hasn’t been used since the death of Princess Diana.

Britain, and the world, will have to adapt to having a king on the throne for the first time in seven decades, updating the national anthem to its original “God Save the King.” For now, Brits are singing one last “God Save the Queen.”

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

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ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- Open competition. Ons Jabeur will head to the U.S. Open final after defeating Caroline Garcia in a semifinal match on Thursday. The Tunisian player will be the first Arab and African woman to play in the tournament. She'll compete against No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek. New York Times

- Estate plan. MacKenzie Scott is expanding her philanthropy from cash and stock donations to real estate. Scott, who vowed to give away at least half her wealth over her lifetime and has donated over $12 billion to date, gave a Beverly Hills property valued at $55 million to the California Community Foundation. Architectural Digest

- Rate hikes. The European Central Bank introduced a 0.75% interest rate hike—the largest in the bank’s history—on Thursday as the euro continues to slip in value amid mounting concerns over economic inflation. President Christine Lagarde suggested on Thursday that more rate hikes are likely to follow. Bloomberg

- Archive job. Laurene Powell Jobs introduced the Steve Jobs Archive at Vox Media's Code Conference this week. The record of the Apple founder's work is "much more about ideas" than about archival material, Powell Jobs said. The Verge

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Ching Tao joins wealth tech firm Farther as vice president and head of people. Columbia Business School has appointed Devon Briger and Erika Irish-Brown to its board. Dear Media has promoted Paige Port to president and Jocelyn Falk to vice president of originals and development. Northwestern Mutual has hired Lynn Teo as its chief marketing officer. Sports and entertainment company AEG has promoted Sally Bae to senior vice president of global partnerships for AEG in Las Vegas. PwC has promoted Yolanda Seals-Coffield to chief people officer for the U.S. and Mexico. Quantcast has appointed Deb Stambaugh as its CMO. Independence Point Advisors has hired Randi Abada as managing director for consumer coverage and investor relations advisory and Mariquit Corcoran as managing director for fintech advisory and venture capital coverage. Caroline Rowland joins Exscientia as CPO. Blockchain-based payment platform Tassat hired Glendy Kam as chief product officer.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Abortion in Michigan. A state judge struck down Michigan’s 90-year-old law banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest on Wednesday. The law was temporarily blocked in May, and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and attorney general Dana Nessel have since said the state will take no action to enforce the law. But there are still at least three abortion-related cases awaiting decisions from the state’s Supreme Court, including whether an amendment on the issue will appear on ballots in November. Reuters

- Stifling free speech. Egyptian prosecutors filed criminal charges against four journalists—all women—alleging they were publishing fake news, misusing social media, and insulting members of Parliament. The four journalists work for Mada Masr, one of Egypt’s remaining independent news outlets, which recently published an article on a corruption inquiry and leadership changes in the country’s largest political party. It’s unclear if prosecutors will bring the case to trial, though the journalists were released on bail after hours of questioning on Wednesday. New York Times

- Forever the GOAT. Even in her last tennis match, Serena Williams was still setting records. An average of 4.8 million viewers tuned into ESPN to watch the three-hour U.S. Open match between Williams and Australian player Ajla Tomljanović last Friday, making it the most-watched tennis game in the network’s history. ESPN

- Proactive care. Reproductive telehealth startup Choix is now allowing patients in the five states it serves—California, Illinois, Colorado, Maine, and New Mexico—to purchase abortion medication for future use. The two pills, which can terminate pregnancies at less than 11 weeks gestation, are available for purchase on a sliding scale of $175 to $289, though patients can only purchase one prescription until the pills have been used or expire. Bloomberg

ON MY RADAR

Quannah Chasinghorse has made her mark Allure

Postpartum women never lost Medicaid coverage during the pandemic. But Mississippi told them they did Mississippi Today

Can Kelly Clarkson save daytime? The host on taking over Ellen’s spot, touring again and Broadway dreams Variety

Travel nurses' gold rush is over. Now, some are joining other nurses in leaving the profession altogether NBC

PARTING WORDS

"Knowing that it is acceptable to compete in this cap at the highest level of sport sends a message that hair should not be a barrier which stops people from participating."

- British Olympic swimmer Alice Dearing on the sport's approval of the Soul Cap, a cap for competitive swimming made for Black hair. The sport's governing body first rejected the cap at last year's Olympics before offering approval this week. 

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